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Roselyn Williams

Mathematician Roselyn Elaine Williams was born on November 1, 1950 in Tallahassee, Florida. Her father, Robert Williams, was a World War II veteran; her mother, Lucile Wynn, an educator. Born in the Florida A & M University (FAMU) Hospital, Williams grew up in academia and attended the nursery, elementary, and high schools on FAMU’s campus. Williams then enrolled in Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia where she was mentored by Dr. Etta Falconer, chair of the mathematics department, and Dr. David Blackwell during a summer program at the University of California, Berkeley. She graduated from Spelman College with her B.S. degree in mathematics in 1972. Williams went on to earn her M.S. degree in mathematics from the University of Florida in 1974, and her Ph.D. degree in mathematics from Florida State University in 1988.

In 1974, Williams began her career in higher education as an instructor at Florida A & M University. She taught there for five years and then spent two semesters at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Virginia as an assistant professor of mathematics. After receiving her doctoral degree in 1988, Williams returned to Florida A & M University and was appointed as an associate professor in the mathematics department. In 2007, she was named chairperson of the mathematics department where she served until 2005. From 1990 through 2009, she served on the steering committee of the Sunshine State Scholars, a state-funded project that recognize outstanding high school students in mathematics and science. At Florida A & M University, she served on several campus committees to enhance undergraduate research and assess the performance of students in STEM disciplines.

Williams has coordinated programs to promote STEM education for students at all levels of education, including Alliance for Production of African American PhDs in the Mathematical Sciences (Alliance 1 Alliance 2), the Florida A & M University Interdisciplinary Research Experience for Undergraduates (FAMU-IREU), the Florida A & M University Computer Science, Engineering Technology and Scholarship Program (CSEM Scholars), Research Experiences for Undergraduate Faculty (REUF), and Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education for Women (EDGE for Women).

Williams served as the treasurer/secretary for the National Association of Mathematicians (NAM), the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), and American Mathematical Society (AMS). She also served on the advisory board of the B. L. Perry Branch of the Leon County Public Library. Williams is a member of the board of the C. K. Steele Scholarship Foundation, Inc., the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. In 2008, Williams’ engagement for gender equality at the workplace was recognized by a presentation at the “Workshop on Inequality, Growth and Development” at the United Nations Summit in New York City.

Roselyn Williams was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 2, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.172

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/2/2013

Last Name

Williams

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Elaine

Occupation
Schools

Florida State University

University of Florida

Spelman College

FAMU High School

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Days, Evenings, and Weekends

First Name

Roselyn

Birth City, State, Country

Tallahassee

HM ID

WIL65

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

No real preference. Perhaps students interested in science.

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

No

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty--a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture, without appeal to any part of our weaker nature, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music, yet sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show. The true spirit of delight, the exaltation, the sense of being more than man, which is the touchstone of the highest excellence, is to be found in mathematics as surely as in poetry. What is best in mathematics deserves not merely to be learned as a task, but to be assimilated as a part of daily thought, and brought again and again before the mind with ever-renewed encouragement. . . . generations have gradually created an ordered cosmos, where pure thought can dwell as in its natural home, . . . . - Bertrand Russell

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

11/1/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Tallahassee

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Italian Food

Short Description

Mathematician Roselyn Williams (1950 - ) , former treasurer/secretary for the National Association of Mathematicians (NAM), is a professor and former chair of the mathematics department at Florida A & M University where she coordinated numerous programs to promote STEM education, such as Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education for Women (EDGE for Women).

Employment

Florida A&M University

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Roselyn Williams' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Roselyn Williams lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Roselyn Williams describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Roselyn Williams talks about her mother's growing up in Apalachicola, Florida, her mother's education and career in the Leon County schools

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Roselyn Williams describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Roselyn Williams talks about the history of The Rabbit's Foot Minstrel

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Roselyn Williams talks about her paternal grandfather's career as a clarinetist in The Rabbit's Foot Minstrel

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Roselyn Williams talks about how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Roselyn Williams describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Roselyn Williams talks about her brother, Ronald Leslie Williams

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Roselyn Williams describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Roselyn Williams talks about her childhood neighborhood in Tallahasee, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Roselyn Williams describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Tallahasee, Florida - part one

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Roselyn Williams talks about Florida A&M University's Children's Theater

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Roselyn Williams talks about the schools in Tallahassee in the 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Roselyn Williams describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up - part two

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Roselyn Williams talks about the role of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, and its minister, Reverend C.K. Steele, in integrating Tallahassee, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Roselyn Williams describes growing up during segregation in Tallahassee, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Roselyn Williams talks about integration in Tallahassee in the 1960s, and the resulting effect on African American businesses

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Roselyn Williams talks about attending school on Florida A&M University's campus

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Roselyn Williams talks about her teachers in school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Roselyn Williams talks about her interests as a young girl, particularly in playing the piano

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Roselyn Williams talks about notable guests who visited her community in Tallahassee, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Roselyn Williams describes her interest in mathematics in school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Roselyn Williams talks about receiving an outstanding student award in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Roselyn Williams describes her decision to attend Spelman College for her undergraduate studies

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Roselyn Williams recalls Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination in 1968

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Roselyn Williams describes her experience at Spelman College and talks about her math teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Roselyn Williams talks about her interest in mathematics

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Roselyn Williams talks about a summer math program at University of California, Berkeley, where she met Dr. David Blackwell

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Roselyn Williams describes her graduation ceremony from Spelman College

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Roselyn Williams talks about being the first African American master's degree student in mathematics at the University of Florida

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Roselyn Williams describes her experience as an instructor of mathematics at Florida A&M University (FAMU) in the 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Roselyn Williams talks about leaving Florida A&M University to pursue her Ph.D. degree in mathematics at Florida State University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Roselyn Williams talks about her dissertation on Hopf algebras and the significance of German mathematician, David Hilbert

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Roselyn Williams talks German mathematician, David Hilbert

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Roselyn Williams talks about her dissertation on Hopf algebras, entitled 'Finite Dimensional Hopf algebras'

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Roselyn Williams discusses the applications of mathematical theories

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Roselyn Williams talks about transitioning from research to teaching at Florida A&M University (FAMU)

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Roselyn Williams talks about transitioning from research mathematics to teaching and mentoring undergraduate students at Florida A&M University

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Roselyn Williams talks about directing the 'Mathematical Modeling in the Natural and Social Sciences' program in 1997

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Roselyn Williams describes her work with the Alliance for the Production of African American Ph.D.s in the Mathematical Sciences (Alliance)

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Roselyn Williams discusses her teaching philosophy - part one

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Roselyn Williams discusses her teaching philosophy - part two

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Roselyn Williams talks about her hopes and concerns for graduates from the mathematics program at Florida A&M University

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Roselyn Williams talks about the Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education for Women program (EDGE) and African American women in academia

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Roselyn Williams talks about prominent African American mathematicians

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Roselyn Williams talks about her involvement with the National Association of Mathematicians (NAM) and the National Science Foundation (NSF)

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Roselyn Williams reflects upon her life and her career's legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Roselyn Williams describes her hopes for the African American community today

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Roselyn Williams describes her concerns for the African American community and her hopes for Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University(FAMU)

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Roselyn Williams talks about her close ties with her students at Florida A&M University (FAMU), and her collaborations with other departments

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Roselyn Williams tells of how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Roselyn Williams describes her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$3

DAStory

3$12

DATitle
Roselyn Williams talks about her dissertation on Hopf algebras and the significance of German mathematician, David Hilbert
Roselyn Williams talks about being the first African American master's degree student in mathematics at the University of Florida
Transcript
Now who was your Ph.D. advisor [at Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida]?$$My Ph.D. advisor is Professor Warren Nichols; he's a graduate of the University of Chicago [Illinois] and we both--all of his students were studying various aspects of Hopf algebras. He had four students in the area of Hopf algebras.$$And tell us now--tell us the way a layman can understand it and also tell us the way a mathematician can appreciate it. What is Hopf algebras?$$Well, Hopf algebras is an area of algebra named after a mathematician whose last name is Hopf [Heinz Hopf], and it is a set with dual algebraic structures and algebraic structure is a set with binary operations such as addition and multiplication, and so this is fundamental mathemat--algebraic structure. But Hopf algebras is one in which it plays a dual role, okay? It plays a role as a vector field, and then it plays the role as the operators on a vector field so in mathematics terminology, it plays the role of elements as well as functions on elements. Now the application of Hopf algebras--it's an area of pure mathematics. Mathematics is usually thought of in two ways, pure mathematics and applied mathematics. Pure mathematics is the extension of known mathematics because as you are learning more about math or science, it always opens up new questions, and that's how the sciences and the mathematics grow. As the result of solving new problems, new questions arise; some of these questions can be solved with the existing knowledge, but some of these questions also push the boundaries of knowledge and become conjectures that may take anywhere from one to 300 years, or even greater, to solve. So my area of Hopf algebras is in the pure area of study. Now the area of applied mathematics is very similar to pure mathematics; it's only that it is developed with a sense of physical application. For example, solving global issues of energy or environment; these solutions are very quantitative, okay? And so a lot of the mathematics is not designed to solve these problems but are directed, okay, applied to solve these problems. So you're taking pure mathematics which was derived as a result of expanding the knowledge of mathematics; the applied mathematician will try to use this mathematics as well as develop net--new mathematics to understand the molecular system, the economic system, the physical system, the environment, so--so it's difficult to convince anyone that Hopf algebras has any real world applications to--it is the applied mathematician who will be able to take the Hopf algebras, okay, and see that it could be a model for some real world application, to solve some--a model to solve a real world application.$$Okay.$$And I guess a--an example is that in physics, some Brownian motions started off with physics, mathematicians--pure mathematicians tried to generalize it, then applied mathematicians found out that stock markets satisfied the same type of model, and the applied mathematicians ended up making financial derivatives from the mathematics of physics and pure mathematics, and now financial derivatives is a part of economic issues today, global issues. So we sort of think that many of the solutions will be successful sometimes based on the known physics and mathematics, okay? To, to what extent you can solve real world problems precisely or exact.$So you had already been accepted to graduate school at this point?$$I had been accepted into graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Florida [Gainesville, Florida]--$$Okay.$$--and I proceeded to the University of California Berkeley and--during the summer, but at the end of that summer, because of the distance from Florida and several factors, I felt that it was in my best interest to return and go to the University of Florida.$$Okay, okay, all right. So University of Florida; now had it been desegregated long when you started?$$No, I was the first African American graduate in the master's program in mathematics and it had not been integrated long, to my knowledge. There were individuals from Tallahassee [Florida] that were in graduate school at that particular time in other areas, but I was, I was the first graduate in their master's program in mathematics so--there were three, three of us African Americans in my particular cohort at the University of Florida.$$Who were the other two, do you remember?$$Let's see, one's name was Roscoe McNealy [ph.], and I think that before he graduated, he was offered a job at the university; he was married with a family, and the other gentleman I can't remember his name but he was also a high school teacher; both of these were people who had careers and were--Roscoe was a veteran. He went to university on a veteran scholarship or--as a result of the veteran. But they were most--they were older than I, and the other gentleman was actually a school teacher.

Joseph Monroe

Computer scientist Joseph Monroe was born in North Carolina. Monroe received his B.S. degrees in mathematics, English, and French from North Carolina A & T State University in 1962. He then enrolled at Texas A & M University and graduated from there with his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in computer science in 1967 and 1972, respectively. Monroe was the first African American to earn a doctoral degree in computer science in the United States.

Upon graduation, Monroe was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force and appointed as an associate professor of computer science at the U.S. Air Force Academy. From 1978 to 1987, he held various positions at the U.S. Air Force Academy, including as the Dean of the Faculty, chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering, chair of the Computer Science Department. Monroe went on to become the first African American appointed as a full professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy. While there, he was responsible for developing computer software systems such as the U.S. Air Force Manpower System, the U.S. Army Personnel System, U.S. Air Force Logistics systems, and the Armed Forces Intelligence Data Handling System. In addition, Monroe designed accredited computer science programs for the Egyptian Air Force Academy, and the Royal Thai Air Force Academy.

In 1987, Monroe joined the faculty at Fayetteville State University and served in various academic and administrative positions. He returned to North Carolina A & T State University in 1991 and was named Ronald E. McNair Endowed Professor and Chair of Computer Science. In 2000, Monroe assumed the additional role of Dean of the College of Engineering. Under his leadership, the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Engineering grew in size, increased funding, and hired the most tenured African American engineering professors in the United States. Monroe was a founding member of the first computer science honor society, Upsilon Pi Epsilon, which is now an international society. He served on the board of directors for the Industries of the Blind, the board of directors for Computing at NASA, and the board that governs the practice of Engineering and Surveying in North Carolina.

Monroe was awarded the U.S. Department of Defense Superior Service Medal for Superior Service and Teaching in 1987, and the U.S. Air Force Legion of Merit Service Medal for Outstanding Teaching and Research in 1974, 1978, and 1982. In 1992, he was named National Technical Achiever of the Year by the National Technical Achievers Association.

Monroe is married to the former Sally McNair Monroe. They have two sons: Joseph Monroe, Jr. and Col. Robert Bruce Monroe.

Joseph Monroe was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 7, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.075

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/7/2013

Last Name

Monroe

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University

Texas A&M University

First Name

Joseph

Birth City, State, Country

Rowland

HM ID

MON08

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Colorado

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

5/18/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Greensboro

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish

Short Description

Computer scientist Joseph Monroe (1936 - ) was the first African American to earn a doctoral degree in the field of computer science, and went on to become the first African American appointed as a full professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Employment

United States Air Force Academy

Fayetteville State University

North Carolina A&T State University

Favorite Color

Brown

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Joseph Monroe's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Joseph Monroe lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Joseph Monroe describes his mother's family background and her poor educational opportunities

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Joseph Monroe describes the history, demographics and racial climate of Rowland, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Joseph Monroe talks about his mother's talent for singing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Joseph Monroe describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Joseph Monroe talks about the South of the Border resort located at the border of the Carolinas

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Joseph Monroe describes his father's talents, his interest in baseball, and the baseball games in Rowland, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Joseph Monroe talks about his family's life as sharecroppers in Rowland, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Joseph Monroe describes how his parents met in Rowland, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Joseph Monroe describes his likeness to his parents and lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Joseph Monroe describes his family's home where he grew up in Rowland, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Joseph Monroe describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Joseph Monroe describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Rowland, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Joseph Monroe talks about the landscape of Rowland, North Carolina, the farming activities, and the industries that were established there

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Joseph Monroe talks about his childhood interest in taking gadgets apart and putting them back together

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Joseph Monroe talks about his experience in elementary school, and juggling his education with his responsibilities on the family farm

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Joseph Monroe talks about his family gatherings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Joseph Monroe discusses segregation and the racial dynamics in Rowland, North Carolina in the 1940s

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Joseph Monroe describes watching the second boxing match between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling with his grandfather

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Joseph Monroe recalls the excitement when Jackie Robinson became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Joseph Monroe talks about excelling in mathematics in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Joseph Monroe talks about his determination to not become a farmer and his experience in his high school typing class

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Joseph Monroe talks about his decision to join the United States Air Force in 1954

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Joseph Monroe describes his early experience in the United States Air Force, and learning Russian at Syracuse University in the 1950s

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Joseph Monroe describes his experience in Turkey while stationed there with the United States Air Force in the 1950s

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Joseph Monroe talks about his efforts to continue his education while stationed in Turkey

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Joseph Monroe talks about the U.S. Air Force's educational and financial benefits - part one

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Joseph Monroe talks about the U.S. Air Force's educational and financial benefits - part two

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Joseph Monroe talks about how he met his wife, Sallie Monroe

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Joseph Monroe describes his experience at the University of Colorado, and the master's degree program in computer science

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Joseph Monroe describes his experience at North Carolina A & T State University in the 1960s - part one

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Joseph Monroe describes his experience at North Carolina A&T University in the 1960s - part two

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Joseph Monroe describes his experience as a graduate student at Texas A & M University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Joseph Monroe talks about the early days of computers and computer programming systems

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Joseph Monroe talks about his mentors at Texas A&M University and about founding the computer science honor society, Epsilon Pi Epsilon

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Joseph Monroe describes his experience on the faculty of the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he taught computer science

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Joseph Monroe describes his decision to pursue his Ph.D. degree in computer science

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Joseph Monroe describes taking the GRE and his experience with finding housing at Texas A&M University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Joseph Monroe describes his trip from Colorado to Texas in 1965, and race relations in College Station, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Joseph Monroe talks about his Ph.D. dissertation on complexity theory and about winning the U.S. Air Force Academy golf championship

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Joseph Monroe discusses his Ph.D. dissertation on complexity theory and earning his Ph.D. degree in computer science

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Joseph Monroe talks about the growth of degree programs in computer science in the 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Joseph Monroe talks about being the first African American to be appointed as a tenured permanent professor at any U.S. service academy

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Joseph Monroe talks about accrediting computer science programs, teaching at the U.S. Air Force Academy and Patricia Schroeder

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Joseph Monroe talks about the evolution of computers since the 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Joseph Monroe describes his decision to accept a position as the vice president of academic affairs at the University of North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Joseph Monroe talks about serving at Fayetteville State University and at North Carolina A&T State University

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Joseph Monroe discusses his endowed professorship of computer science at North Carolina A&T University, and the field of geomatics

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Joseph Monroe describes the uses of geomatics and explains how a GPS device works

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Joseph Monroe talks about his research on transportation security for the Department of Homeland Security, and on facial and voice recognition

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Joseph Monroe talks about his research on reusing the ATA language in the navigation systems for ships

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Joseph Monroe talks about his research on adaptation and scalability in computers

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Joseph Monroe describes his contributions as the dean of the College of Engineering at North Carolina A & T University

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Joseph Monroe talks about the Engineering Research Center at North Carolina A & T State University

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Joseph Monroe talks about his mentoring initiatives at North Carolina A & T State University

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Joseph Monroe talks about serving on the Board of Directors for Computing at NASA

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Joseph Monroe talks about his most significant contributions as the dean of the College of Engineering at North Carolina A&T State University

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Joseph Monroe describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Joseph Monroe talks about his family, and his decision to not enroll in the NASA astronaut program

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Joseph Monroe talks about his sons, Joseph Monroe, Jr. and Robert Bruce Monroe

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Joseph Monroe reflects upon his legacy and talks about his involvement in the Bible training center

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Joseph Monroe talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Joseph Monroe describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

8$5

DATitle
Joseph Monroe talks about his decision to join the United States Air Force in 1954
Joseph Monroe describes his contributions as the dean of the College of Engineering at North Carolina A & T University
Transcript
So, when you were a senior [at Rowland Southside School, Rowland, North Carolina], what were your prospects for college? Were you thinking about college?$$Yes, I was. But the problem was--I could sense, I knew about our financial situation. And it took money to be in college. And I had a sister in college, at Fayetteville Teachers' College [Fayetteville, North Carolina] at that time. And I can remember the struggle we had getting her twenty dollars a month. They let us have a monthly plan, but that was a struggle, getting that to her. So, the principal had said I could go to [North Carolina] A and T [Agricultural and Technical University, Greensboro, North Carolina] and come back and be the math teacher. My father [Willie Birth Monroe] thought that was a great idea and my mother [Cilla Jane Baker Monroe] thought it was a great idea. I didn't think it was such a good idea, because that would be hand going off to college and we had, my sister had two more years. One of the young men in from our high school went to the [U.S.] Air Force. And he came back in the school and talked about it, and I begged my parents to allow me to join the Air Force. And about the time they were ready to capitulate, the neighbor's son was killed in the Korean conflict. They said, no way. But my mom found--one Sunday I didn't go to church. I stayed back practicing my father's signature. She found those notes. She said, "That boy's determined to go, we'd better let him go." So, they signed for me to go to the Air Force. And I told, I promised her I would go to college and study math and become a teacher and come back. And I had no intentions of doing that. But I did go to the Air Force and got some good technical training. And the principal's wife was the English teacher. She thought I should go and study math and English and come back and teach that. So--, but I didn't. I went off to the Air Force. And after four years in the Air Force my time was up, but I was overseas doing a good job, and the commanding officer said, "We're going to send you to college." I told my mom, "The Air Force is going to send me to college. I'm not getting out."$$Now, just, I want to go back a little bit, just to get the dates.$$Yes.$$You graduated from high school in what?$$1954.$$'54 [1954]. Okay.$$Graduated in May, and June 1, I was in Texas.$$In the United States Air Force.$$The United States Air Force.$$And you went to, where in Texas did you go?$$Lackland Air Force base in San Antonio [Texas].$$Okay, okay. And that's where you had basic training, I guess, right?$$Basic training.$Tell us about being the dean of the College of Engineering at North Carolina A and T [Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, North Carolina].$$That was a lot of fun. I had all the classical disciplines there. And my biggest thing there was fund-raising, raising funds to recruit students, particularly African American students. It was a big challenge. And our alums were not accustomed to giving much (laughter). So, what I did was got with the companies that were recruiting African Americans--General Electric, Northrup Grumman, and all the companies that recruited--Merck Company. And I got with the presidents of the people who handled the finances and told them, "Look, you don't need--if you want to beef up your African American population in engineering, see me." And they did, and I did. They came and saw our programs. And what I did do to the programs, was make sure they were nationally recognized. And the national recognition in engineering, there's something called the Fundamentals of Engineering, the FE exam, nationally standardized exam. I convinced the students they could pass the exam. And the big problem I had--the faculty wanted to run me off--was convincing the faculty that students could pass. So, we went back to the math department where they enter--worked with them. And we worked with the physics department, worked with everybody who had a hand in the fundamentals. We worked with them. We got our students passing at the same rate, or higher rate, than the students at NC [North Carolina] State [University, Raleigh, North Carolina]. Duke [University, Durham, North Carolina] was the only school in North Carolina that offered engineering that could out-perform the [North Carolina] A and T students in engineering. The school at the University of Charlotte [University of North Carolina at Charlotte], we swooped them first. (laughter) Then we took NC State. We never--Duke was always 100 percent. We never could take them. We'd be in the high 90s, 100 percent area every other year. That got the program going, and we got more funding than we needed. When I left, they had about five million dollars they couldn't find students to come take.$$Now, it says here that you also, under your leadership, there were more tenured or tenure-track African American engineering professors at A and T than any other place in the country.$$I just adopted from the [U.S.] Air Force. I would find the ones who was good in the undergraduate program and sponsor him or her for two to four years in a doctoral program. Most of them were successful. Then the allocation [ph.] they had there was, I had to compete for them at the end, you know. They could get big salaries elsewhere. I had to get the salaries up, to do that.$$Okay, okay.

Johnny Houston

Mathematician, education administrator, and research director Johnny L. Houston was born on November 19, 1941 in Sandersville, Georgia to parents Bobby Lee Harris and Catherine Houston Vinson. After graduating from Ballard Hudson High School in Macon, Georgia, Houston attended Morehouse College and graduated in 1964 with his B.A. degree in mathematics. Houston received his M.S. degree in mathematics from Atlanta University (Clark Atlanta University) in 1966 and then travelled to Paris, France to study at the Universite de Strasbourg. In 1974, Houston graduated with his Ph.D. degree in mathematics from Purdue University.

In 1975, Houston was appointed as the chair of the Atlanta University Math and Computer Science Department. During a leave period, he served as the Calloway Professor of Computer Science at Fort Valley State University. In 1984, Houston became the vice chancellor of academic affairs and professor of math and computer science at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU). He was named senior research professor in the ECSU Department of Mathematics and Computer Science in 1988. Throughout his career, Houston has held several positions as a specialist in mathematics and computer science, including serving as a member National Institute of Health’s MARC Committee from 1980to 1986, a member of the Board of Governors of the Mathematical Association of America from 1992 to 1995, and as a member of the Human Resource Advisory Group for the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute from1993 to1998. In 1996, Houston established the Computational Science and Scientific Visualization (CSSV) Center at ECSU; and, in 2002, he established the African Studies (TLMP) at ECSU. Houston served as the director of both programs until 2008. Houston is a co-founder of the National Association of Mathematicians, Inc. (NAM), and served as NAM’s executive secretary from 1975 until 2000. Houston published The History of NAM, the First 30 Years; 1969-1999 in 2002 and is the author of more than forty books and articles on the science, mathematics, and education

Houston has received several awards and honors, including the University Of North Carolina Board Of Governors Teaching Excellence Award in 1996, NAM’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999, and the Purdue University BCC Pioneer Award in 2009. Houston has been included American Men and Women of Science, Who’s Who Among Black Americans, Who’s Who in America, and the World Directory of Mathematicians. In 2010, Houston was named professor emeritus at Elizabeth City State University after twenty-six years of service.

Houston is married to Virginia Lawrence. They have two daughters: Mave Talibra and Kaiulani Michelle.

Mathematician, education administrator, and research director Johnny L. Houston was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 25, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.046

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/25/2013

Last Name

Houston

Maker Category
Middle Name

L.

Occupation
Schools

Universite de Strasbourg

University of Georgia

Clark Atlanta University

Morehouse College

Ballard Hudson High School

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Day,s Evenings, and Weekends by pre-arrangment

First Name

Johnny

Birth City, State, Country

Sandersville

HM ID

HOU03

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Any

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - Expenses plus any expression of appreciation

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Mountains, Water

Favorite Quote

Life Has Been Very Kind To Me And I Thank God For It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

11/19/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Charlotte

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Vegetables

Short Description

Mathematician Johnny Houston (1941 - ) was the founder of the Computational Science and Scientific Visualization Center and the African Studies Program (TLMP) at Elizabeth City State University, and co-founder of the National Association of Mathematicians, Inc. (NAM).

Employment

Elizabeth City State University

Fort Valley State University

Atlanta University

Savannah State University

Stillman College

E.E. Smith High School

Favorite Color

Gray

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Johnny Houston's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Johnny Houston lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Johnny Houston talks about his mother and his grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Johnny Houston talks about growing up in the deep South

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Johnny Houston talks about his aunts' perception of Elijah Muhammad

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Johnny Houston talks about his mother's education and career

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Johnny Houston talks about his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Johnny Houston talks about his father's education

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Johnny Houston talks about his relationship with his father

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Johnny Houston talks about how his parents met and his father's career in the funeral business

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Johnny Houston talks about his grandmother's influence on him

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Johnny Houston talks about his grandmother, her influence in the community, and her employment

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Johnny Houston describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Johnny Houston talks about his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Johnny Houston talks about the black communities in Sandersville, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Johnny Houston talks about his interest in how things work and describes living in poverty during his early childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Johnny Houston talks about his experience in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Johnny Houston talks about his passion for learning and his elementary teachers' perceptions of him

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Johnny Houston talks about his uncle's service in World War II and the racial tensions of growing up in the South

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Johnny Houston talks about his involvement in Springfield Baptist Church while growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Johnny Houston talks about the impact of his grandmother's death

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Johnny Houston talks about his childhood jobs

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Johnny Houston talks about his sister's death, his family's move to Macon, Georgia, and living in the projects

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Johnny Houston talks about the demographics of the projects of Macon, Georgia, and his education

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Johnny Houston talks about his junior high school science teacher

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Johnny Houston talks about his high school English teachers and the importance of communication skills

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Johnny Houston talks about his science and math instruction in high school

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Johnny Houston talks about his high school math teacher and his math instruction

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Johnny Houston talks about his extracurricular activities and working during high school

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Johnny Houston talks about graduating from high school, his decision to attend Morehouse College, and his financial hardships there

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Johnny Houston talks about his financial hardships and his quest for work in Hot Springs, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Johnny Houston talks about his experience working at The Homestead luxury resort in Hot Springs, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Johnny Houston talks about his favorite vacation destination, Hot Springs, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Johnny Houston talks about his interest in math and science and his chemistry professor at Morehouse College, Henry C. McBay

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Johnny Houston talks about his professors, Claude B. Dansby and Henry C. McBay, at Morehouse College

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Johnny Houston talks about his professors at Morehouse College

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Johnny Houston talks about Benjamin Mays - part one

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Johnny Houston talks about Benjamin Mays - part two

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Johnny Houston talks about Shirley McBay

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Johnny Houston talks about his memories of the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Johnny Houston talks about graduating from Morehouse College and his experience teaching high school mathematics in Fayetteville, North Carolina

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Johnny Houston talks about the professors at Atlanta University Complex, including Abdulalim Shabazz

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Johnny Houston talks about his thesis advisor, Lloyd Williams, and the area of topology in mathematics

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Johnny Houston talks about his decision to study at the University of Strasbourg in France

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Johnny Houston talks about learning French and his experience in France

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Johnny Houston talks about learning French and his travels within the United States

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Johnny Houston talks about his studies and his experience at the University of Strasbourg

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Johnny Houston talks about his travels through Europe

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Johnny Houston talks about his decision to teach at Stillman College and his experience there

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Johnny Houston describes his first exposure to computers, when he attended an IBM workshop to learn to program in Fortran

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Johnny Houston talks about his memories of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his assassination in 1968

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Johnny Houston describes his experience at the Summer Institute for College Teachers of Math at the University of Georgia

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Johnny Houston describes his decision to pursue his Ph.D. degree at Purdue University, and talks about other African Americans who studied there

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Johnny Houston talks about his wife, Virginia Lawrence, whom he married in 1969

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Johnny Houston talks about the establishment of the National Association of Mathematicians (NAM) in 1969, and the reasons for its conception

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Johnny Houston describes the objectives of the National Association of Mathematicians (NAM), and the reasons for its conception

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Johnny Houston talks about his doctoral advisor, Eugene Schenkman, and his experience as a doctoral student at Purdue University - part one

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Johnny Houston talks about his doctoral advisor, Eugene Schenkman, and his experience as a doctoral student at Purdue University - part one

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Johnny Houston describes his doctoral dissertation, titled, 'On the Theory of Fitting Classes in Certain Locally Finite Groups'

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Johnny Houston discusses the impact of his doctoral dissertation, titled 'On the Theory of Fitting Classes in Certain Locally Finite Groups'

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Johnny Houston talks about how pure mathematics is the forerunner of applied mathematics

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Johnny Houston talks about his graduation from Purdue University

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Johnny Houston talks about teaching mathematics at the Krannert School of Industrial Management at Purdue University

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Johnny Houston describes himself as a computational scientist

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Johnny Houston talks about his decision to become the head of the mathematics department at Atlanta University

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Johnny Houston talks about becoming the National Secretary of the National Association of Mathematicians (NAM) in 1975

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Johnny Houston talks about training faculty at HBCUs to use computers in the 1970s

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Johnny Houston describes his experience at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Johnny Houston describes his experience at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 1979

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Johnny Houston talks about becoming the Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Computer Science at Fort Valley State University in 1981

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Johnny Houston talks about his appointment as the vice chancellor of academic affairs at Elizabeth City State University

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Johnny Houston describes the history of Elizabeth City State University

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Johnny Houston describes his contribution towards the computerization of Elizabeth City State University

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Johnny Houston talks about his publications on the general applications of mathematics

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Johnny Houston describes the growing application of mathematics and computer science in scientific research

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Johnny Houston talks about the ease of scientific collaboration in the modern age of computerization

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Johnny Houston describes how he became involved in the President's Africa Education Initiative: Sub-Saharan Africa Textbooks Project

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Johnny Houston describes his contribution towards the President's Africa Education Initiative: Sub-Saharan Africa Textbooks Project

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Johnny Houston describes his collaboration with the University of Cheikh Anta Diop while working on the Sub-Saharan Africa Textbooks Project

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Johnny Houston describes the two different phases of the Sub-Saharan Africa Textbooks Project in Senegal

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Johnny Houston talks about teaching students to think critically to solve problems in mathematics - part one

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Johnny Houston talks about teaching students to think critically to solve problems in mathematics - part two

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Johnny Houston talks about the scientific contributions of Benjamin Banneker

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Johnny Houston talks about Elbert Frank Cox, who was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. degree in mathematics

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Johnny Houston talks about Euphemia Lofton Haynes, Evelyn Boyd Granville and Marjorie Lee Brown

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Johnny Houston talks about mathematician, J. Ernest Wilkins

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Johnny Houston talks about the accomplishments of mathematician, David Blackwell

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Johnny Houston talks about African American pioneers in mathematics, and the current occupational trends amongst African American mathematicians

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Johnny Houston describes his contributions to the field of mathematics, and shares his advice for aspiring mathematicians

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Johnny Houston reflects upon his choices

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Johnny Houston describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Johnny Houston talks about the Black Culture Center at Purdue University and the African Studies Program at Elizabeth City State University

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Johnny Houston talks about his family

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Johnny Houston talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$9

DAStory

7$3

DATitle
Johnny Houston talks about his interest in math and science and his chemistry professor at Morehouse College, Henry C. McBay
Johnny Houston describes his experience at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado
Transcript
Now, to Morehouse [College] to talk about the academics. Now did you decide on a major as a freshman?$$When I went to Morehouse as a freshman, I knew I had an analytical mind; I knew I had a curious mind and I told you I had had these two teachers who had mentored me in English in high school. And something annoyed me about them; they would tell me how to do things correctly and why to do it, and then I would find myself doing it and then they--"No, no, you can't do it at this point." I say "Why not?" They say "Because this is the exception to the rule; this is when the rule doesn't apply." (Unclear) "Oh no, this is the exception to"--I say "Well, if it's a rule, it should be a rule." And so I was not--and then in the social sciences, they were talking theories; this is such-and-such-a theory; this is this. I say "Wait a minute, either something is or it isn't." So I liked analytical things and the things that were pretty much straight forward, so I decided the freshman year when I went to Morehouse that I'm sure I'm gonna major in math or science because those--two and two is gonna be four, don't care what you do with it; they're not gonna change. As Mr. Thomas say, "If you heed this compound, this is gonna happen; it's not gonna be these exceptions they keep talking about." So I went there with the understanding that I would either major in mathematics or science because of my very nature, the nature of my mind and what I was most comfortable with. And so I took chemistry my first year there from a professor named Henry C. McBay, perhaps the most renowned African American chemist that we've had in the United States. And he really--he was the most exciting mentor I have had in college; teacher and scholar, he excited me; I took his class, general chemistry, 8:00 in the morning the first year I went to Morehouse. He had a lecture room with 125 seats in it and I would go there and I would sit up near the front; I wanted to hear and learn everything he had to teach. He was a fantastic teacher, great scholar, and he made chemistry come alive, and he excited me; I mean he excited me so much--and the other thing that made me excited was you knew he was a chemist. In the entire--I took two semesters of chemistry from him during my first year at Morehouse, and I only remember him bringing a note or a book to class only once. He was totally prepared mentally with all the details, and he went in there and he could teach chemistry; he knew chemistry and he could teach it. Now there were things in the room like we call the chart of elements [periodic table] and different things he would point to from time to time to refer, but notes he didn't bring. And he had boards that you--you could write on the board and then you could push it up in the air and then pull the other board down and write on it, and then over the other side it had--so we were trying to keep up with him with his writing. But he was a fantastic and inspiring teacher, and he is perhaps the greatest teacher that I have ever had; he inspired me to want to do science and to want to do it well, and I say if I ever taught, I wanted to be like Henry C. McBay.$Now, you did some work with the National Center for Atmospheric Research [NCAR], Boulder [Colorado] right?$$Yes. The idea was and this is one of the things I can never forget my grandmother [Ruth Houston] and mother [Catherine Houston Vinson] for this, they say you learn as much as you can and so what--I talked to some of the professionals--again NAM [National Association of Mathematicians] helped me on this. We were closed out. When I say we, African American mathematicians and scholars were closed out from a lot of the big research labs, a lot of things. But in the '70s [1970s] they start opening up and start letting blacks come out there for internships, or activities during the summer. And so we said, hey we got to take advantage of these things to learn. And they saw that as a forerunner for being able to hire them as full-time employees and also for us to start introducing the students to what they were doing. So, I went out there to Boulder, Colorado and there is something called NOOA, N-O-O-A. It was the National Center for Atmospheric Research, it's on the side of a mountain and it's fantastic. Every morning, five days a week, I had to get up that mountain to that and I had a window in my office and I could look over the mountains. And it was beautiful. In fact, sometime during the lunch hour we would climb some of the smaller cliffs out there--we called them flat irons--just for the heck of it. But that was a fantastic experience because that's when I really got into computer science. They had the first super computer I ever ran into. A large computer was the forerunner to the big super computer and they allowed us to work on it. And you talking about really crunching numbers and we were looking at data they were getting from the atmosphere. And one of the problems they wanted me to work on was unequally spaced data. It was easy to work on data that end up at exact spaces apart, but they found out then in the atmosphere it wasn't like you draw it on the board in the classroom. You had data that was unequally spaced and so the question is--to give an example, if you had one piece of data right here, another piece here, another piece there that was the same distance, well you always knew what was in the middle; it was half the distance between. But what if you got data where one was here then the next piece was there then the next jumped here, how did you handle that data because we needed to know the previous data in order to make predictions about the one up front. And so that was a big problem, how did you handle unequally spaced data. And that was a good computational science problem that I started working on there.$$Okay. Now, also this is at the National Center for Atmospheric Research? And so they had a super computer--this is your first experience with one, what was--can you describe what a super computer was like in '76 [1976]?$$What a super computer was like in '76, I hate to say, but it was like the desktop computers today.$$In terms of the power?$$Yeah. I mean, see in '76 [1976], the only thing that could give--if you had a five hundred and eighty megabytes or if you had one billion gigabytes, only super computers do that. Now you can get a gigabyte on your laptop but back then that was big news; I mean, that was speed. People talk, well wow, you were getting--I don't know whether you ever saw it but the computers back at that time people were talking about thirty-two, thirty-two megabytes or sixty-four, you were on the low computers they had. But you got five hundred and the gigabyte you are the super computer thing.$$Okay.

James Curry

Mathematician James Curry was born in 1948 in Oakland, California. Curry became interested in mathematics at age twelve, after seeing fascinating symbols and equations in a physics book. He was determined to learn calculus and received a lot of support from his high school math teacher. Curry was also curious about computers after working with one that was donated to his high school. In 1976, Curry received with his B.S. degree in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley. He also attended graduate school the University of California, Berkeley, graduating with his M.S. degree in mathematics in 1976 and his Ph.D. degree I mathematics in 1976.

Upon graduation, Curry was awarded consecutive postdoctoral fellowships to study the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. In 1981, Curry began scientific investigations with the CRAY High Performance Computing System. His research was supported with the Minority Research Initiation grant from the National Science Foundation. He investigated the role of computers in helping people to understand complicated topics like weather monitoring and mathematics theory. Curry’s research focused on developing ways to solve nonlinear equations using a computer. He worked with scientists who study the ocean and atmosphere, such as Warren Washington, and helped them to answer questions about their work using mathematics and computers. In 1990, Curry joined the faculty at the University of Colorado, Boulder as associate professor of applied mathematics. Curry was promoted to full professor of mathematics at the University of Colorado in 1991; and, in 2008, he was appointed associate director of the program in applied mathematics. Curry has also worked as a project officer at the National Science Foundation, where he managed the distribution of federal funding to programs from the Division of Mathematical Science, Applied Mathematics Division.

Curry’s seminal research with the CRAY supercomputer has been widely-published in academic journals including, Communications in Mathematical Physics and Communications in Applied Nonlinear Analysis. In addition to research and writing, Curry has contributed to STEM education via The Curriculum Project, which has been successful in addressing critical issues involving minority participation in mathematics.

James H. Curry was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 16, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.033

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/16/2013

Last Name

Curry

Maker Category
Middle Name

Howard

Occupation
Schools

Oakland Technical High School

University of California, Berkeley

Cole Elementary School

Lowell Junior High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

Oakland

HM ID

CUR04

Favorite Season

Spring

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

Woods Hole, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

Do more math.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Colorado

Birth Date

7/24/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Denver

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Mathematician James Curry (1948 - ) pioneering CRAY Supercomputer analyst, served as associate director and professor of of applied mathematics at the University of Boulder, Colorado.

Employment

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Curriculum Project

National Center for Atmospheric Research

University of Colorado at Boulder

National Science Foundation (NSF)

CRAY High Performance Computing Systems

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:636,9:932,14:1228,19:1968,30:3226,64:3966,75:4336,81:5520,101:6408,119:8332,152:8702,158:9442,170:9960,179:10922,195:12402,221:13734,245:14252,255:14622,261:14918,266:15436,275:16250,290:16842,300:17212,306:23541,350:23896,356:25103,376:25529,383:26026,391:27304,413:27730,422:28156,429:28653,437:29150,445:29647,453:30499,474:31067,483:31422,489:31706,494:35020,509:37960,559:38320,566:38620,572:38980,580:39280,586:39580,596:39880,602:40120,607:40660,617:41800,635:42160,642:42580,650:43000,659:45774,670:46006,675:46528,689:46818,695:47224,797:47514,803:47746,808:48326,816:48558,821:50131,831:50670,839:51132,846:52903,880:53827,899:56015,913:56840,926:57215,933:58865,954:59990,976:71420,1171:76540,1257:78060,1281:83130,1294:85223,1324:86406,1343:91260,1371:91758,1376:96655,1481:100334,1510:101558,1535:102062,1545:102638,1555:104582,1589:105086,1598:105806,1610:106454,1625:106958,1634:107390,1641:107822,1649:110710,1654:111658,1668:112448,1679:113554,1703:114107,1711:114897,1723:115371,1730:116319,1746:116635,1753:116951,1758:117504,1769:117978,1777:118768,1788:123180,1823:123840,1839:124302,1847:124830,1863:125358,1872:126018,1886:126282,1891:128206,1901:128458,1906:129088,1919:129781,1932:130159,1939:132175,1995:133309,2018:133750,2026:134317,2036:134569,2041:137575,2067:138552,2074:138840,2079:141240,2093:141590,2099:142990,2171:143830,2177:144110,2182:146010,2198$0,0:1050,18:2200,29:2890,42:7315,131:10990,182:13825,260:17906,277:38310,627:38806,632:39302,637:42368,653:42678,659:44786,701:45282,710:45964,729:46460,738:47018,749:47266,754:48506,773:51620,783:52010,789:60744,932:64206,954:67986,1008:70970,1035:71400,1041:73261,1066:75462,1103:75746,1108:81355,1193:90079,1281:91157,1297:91465,1302:92081,1316:92543,1323:93313,1335:93775,1342:94391,1352:95315,1365:96316,1375:100660,1397:101080,1403:101668,1411:106624,1499:107212,1507:108220,1523:111845,1543:114640,1581:118840,1667:121010,1695:121430,1702:122480,1717:127502,1749:128794,1766:131226,1810:132442,1831:132746,1836:133582,1854:135102,1877:135710,1886:136546,1904:137458,1919:148894,2072:149510,2081:149862,2086:150302,2092:150654,2097:157820,2139:158096,2144:164099,2257:164375,2262:164789,2270:172460,2326
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James Curry's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James Curry lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James Curry describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James Curry talks about his parents' views about Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James Curry talks about his mother's education and veiled family history

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James Curry describes his father's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James Curry talks about his paternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - James Curry talks about his father's employment with Southern Pacific Railway

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James Curry talks about his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James Curry talks about his sister, Gloria Curry, and his school guidance counselor Edward L. Dry

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James Curry describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James Curry describes growing up in West Oakland, California

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James Curry describes the sights and sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James Curry describes his interest in math and science fiction

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James Curry describes his interest in comic books, science fiction and math

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James Curry describes his experience at Cole Elementary School and Lowell Junior High School

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James Curry describes his introduction to computers in the ninth grade

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James Curry talks about his math teacher, Mary Perry Smith

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James Curry talks about his mentors, Edward L. Dry and Mary Perry Smith

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James Curry describes his experience in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - James Curry talks about his mentors at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James Curry describes his experience at the University of California, Berkeley in the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James Curry describes his motivation to learn math

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James Curry talks about Harry Morrison, Warren Washington and Jim Donaldson

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James Curry talks about prominent mathematicians at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James Curry describes his decision to attend graduate school

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James Curry describes his interest in obtaining a Ph.D. degree at U.C. Berkeley

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - James Curry talks about William Lester and Robert Bragg

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - James Curry talks about his Ph.D. dissertation research

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James Curry talks about his Ph.D. thesis on finite dimensional normal approximations to Boussinesq equations

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James Curry describes his experience with the PDP-11 super mini-computer at U.C. Berkeley

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James Curry describes his experience in France

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James Curry describes his experience at Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James Curry talks about his experiences at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James Curry describes his scientific collaboration with James Yorke

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James Curry talks about Ed Lorenz at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - James Curry describes his experience at the National Center of Atmospheric Research and the University of Colorado

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - James Curry talks about his research at the National Center for Atmospheric Research

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - James Curry talks about Professor William King and Professor Charles Nilon

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - James Curry talks about the Cray-1 supercomputing system

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - James Curry talks his former and current students

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - James Curry talks about the Conference for African American Research in Mathematical Sciences [CAARMS]

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - James Curry talks about his career and his choices about family

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - James Curry talks about his trips to Vietnam for work

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - James Curry talks about his administrative roles at the University of Colorado

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - James Curry discusses the lack of African Americans pursuing academic careers in mathematics

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - James Curry describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - James Curry reflects upon his family

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - James Curry reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - James Curry talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

1$6

DATitle
James Curry describes his interest in comic books, science fiction and math
James Curry describes his scientific collaboration with James Yorke
Transcript
Okay, we were just discussing these comic books.$$Yeah, we were discussing comic books, and Thor and Spiderman and the Fantastic Four, and all of those comic books. And just the richness of the language, I mean, I think really attracted me. I mean, you could play with the language. You could say funny things in the language. It was--yeah. So, comic books influenced my life. Science fiction influenced my life. I really enjoyed reading science fiction, and sort of dreaming about what could be. And during the '50s [1950s] in television, there were always these guys in white coats who would walk around on television, and I really thought that was cool. And then there was the whole Sputnik [first artificial satellite sent into orbit; launched by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957] thing that sort of just came, and science became important, and yeah, you could do something. I mean that was, the universe was open. That was--$$A lot of drama centered around scientists in those days--$$Oh yeah.$$--on television, 'The Twilight Zone'[American television series]--$$Yes.$$Doctors, mad doctors--$$(laughter) 'The Twilight Zone', Rod Serling, "Today we're about to enter the twilight zone." And just the way, I mean, the enunciation and the cadence. I mean I love that, I love that.$$So, you seem to have a really interesting focus on math, more so than most people I've ever talked to. I mean, you were actually, you know, trying to read math books as a kid.$$I read math books as a kid. I liked math. I liked the symbols. They were mysterious. And so, figuring out what the mystery was about, I mean, that was always sort of like wonderful and exciting. Literature, naaaah, but science fiction was really great. I loved that. Over time, I've come to appreciate literature, but I mean, it was the science and the science fiction. And I remember when I was in high school, I read parts of the biography of Albert Einstein, and I thought that was kind of cool. I mean, that was when I was at Oakland Technical High School [California]. And then I just sort of--Mary Perry Smith, Edward L. Dry [teachers who were influential in Curry's life]--I mean, they were motivators.$Okay. So, you're publishing works during this period, too, right? You published something with James Yorke. I don't have all of your publications here--$$(laughter).$$--but there some here that are highlighted from the website.$$Okay. So, here's the Yorke story. I gave a talk at the University of Maryland [College Park, Maryland] when I was at Howard [University, Washington, District of Columbia]. And I was talking about my thesis work, the 14 Variable Model. And I met this guy named Jim Yorke. And Jim Yorke was an (unclear)--I mean, just very, very bright, very capable guy. And he, I mean, he gave his talk--I gave this talk. And then after being at Howard for a year, I went to the National Center. Well, the National Center had just gotten in a CRAY-1 computer, Model Number 14. And nobody was using it. And so, Jim Yorke and I were corresponding back and forth, and he said, "Oh, you ought to take a look at this map and run some computer experiments on it." And so since nobody was using this super computer, guess what? You could run 100 experiments on the super computer on this particular map. I mean, and by the way, solving a 14 variable differential equation takes time. Iterating the map takes almost no time. And so, guess what? You run this little map, and they also had this really nice output system where you could output things to microfilm. And so, I would produce forty frames, fifty frames. And then I'd send them off to Yorke. And Yorke got really excited because we were looking at--so, you take a circle and it has a particular structure. And you twist it, you shear it in a certain way. And by shearing it, you create periodic orbits, you create some dynamical structure. And Yorke wanted to figure out how a circle might break down. And so he ran the experiments. We did some work. We wrote a paper that appeared in Springer Lecture Notes, or something, and people thought, "Oh, that's really nice." Excuse me, I didn't think very much of it. I mean, it was, "Oh, yeah it's cool and Jim Yorke is cool." And then the next thing that happened was Michel Ano in France, he did some work on the Ano Map, or he created this new map. And David Ruelle was interested in that one, and so I could do some work on that. And so, I mean, it was, yeah, it was interesting.

Lafayette Frederick

Botanist Lafayette Frederick was born on March 9, 1923 in Dog Bog, Mississippi. Frederick’s interest in botany began as an undergraduate student at Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) where he was inspired by the famous botanist and plant chemist George Washington Carver. After earning his B.S. degree in biology from Tuskegee Institute in 1943 and his M.S. degree in botany from the University of Rhode Island in 1950, Frederick went on to graduate from Washington State University with his Ph.D. degree in plant pathology and botany. His doctoral thesis focused on spore development in fungi, systematics and ecology of the myxomycetes, and the Dutch elm disease.

Upon completion of his postdoctoral studies at Cornell University, the University of Illinois and the University of Michigan, Fredrick was hired as an assistant professor at Southern University in the biology department. There, he developed a botany concentration during his ten years at the school. He also developed a botany concentration at Atlanta University, where he chaired the biology department during his fourteen-year tenure. In 1958, Frederick was responsible for integrating the Association of Southeastern Biologists meeting, which had not allowed its African American members to attend. He also served as director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Academic Year Institute for Science Teachers. Frederick worked on several projects that involved studies on antifungal substances of a strain of bacterium. In 1976, Frederick was hired by Howard University where he went on to serve as a professor and chairman in the department of botany, acting dean for the College of Liberal Arts, and emeritus professor of biology.

Among Frederick’s honors are an Honorary Doctorate of Science degree in botany and a Distinguished Alumni Award, from the University of Rhode Island; the Botanical Society of America Merit Award; the NSF Education and Human Resources Directorate Lifetime Achievement Award; the American Association for the Advancement of Science Lifetime Mentor Award; and a Tuskegee Institute Distinguished Alumni Merit Award. A species of Hawaiian shrub, Cyrtandra Frederickii, was named in his honor by Harold St. John, former chairman of the University of Hawaii department of botany.

Lafayette Fredrick was interviewed on The HistoryMakers on December 12, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.255

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/15/2012

Last Name

Frederick

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Dunbar Elementary School

Vashon High School

Hayti High School

Washington High School

Tuskegee University

University of Hawaii

Rhode Island State College

Washington State University

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

University of Michigan

Cornell University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Lafayette

Birth City, State, Country

Dog Bog

HM ID

FRE07

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

A Wise Old Owl Lived In An Oak. The More He Saw The Less He Spoke. The Less He Spoke The More He Heard. Why Can't We All Be Like That Wise Old Bird?

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Alabama

Birth Date

3/19/1923

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Tuskegee

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish

Short Description

Botanist Lafayette Frederick (1923 - ) developed the concentration in botany at Southern University and Atlanta University, and is professor emeritus in botany at Howard University.

Employment

Kaiser Shipbuilding Co.

United States Navy

Southern University

Atlanta University

Howard University

Central State University

Tuskegee University

Favorite Color

Brown

Timing Pairs
0,0:29852,242:36160,381:55144,620:62314,701:65034,791:74470,880:74914,888:75210,893:75876,902:83957,1040:100236,1256:102153,1346:104070,1414:119238,1664:123236,1683:123803,1691:137330,1912:137816,1919:138464,1928:150002,2075:162446,2213:167069,2328:169001,2375:182580,2564:206170,2801$0,0:26272,333:29224,375:35932,490:37244,501:75136,969:79764,1042:83057,1082:88147,1136:88999,1150:89496,1158:89780,1163:91768,1212:92123,1218:96880,1309:100433,1322:101348,1344:112110,1441:114406,1458:120447,1507:123666,1556:124275,1565:124710,1572:125319,1580:126363,1595:126972,1603:133528,1659:137950,1691:138400,1697:139750,1713:141910,1745:147462,1797:149437,1846:150069,1855:155204,1972:172505,2154:173414,2165:178802,2206:182005,2258:182855,2271:199220,2440:201025,2473:204825,2529:212691,2574:217464,2617:218202,2627:218530,2632:224106,2726:227796,2780:241770,2929:242170,2935:256100,3162
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lafayette Frederick's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lafayette Frederick lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lafayette Frederick describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lafayette Frederick describes his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lafayette Frederick talks about his parents' role as teachers

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lafayette Frederick describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lafayette Frederick describes his paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lafayette Frederick talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lafayette Frederick describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lafayette Frederick describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lafayette Frederick describes his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lafayette Frederick describes his earliest memory of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lafayette Frederick talks about Hayti, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lafayette Frederick talks about his elementary school, Dunbar Elementary School

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lafayette Frederick describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lafayette Frederick describes his elementary school education pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lafayette Frederick describes his elementary school education pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lafayette Frederick talks about the influence of newspapers and radio durin his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lafayette Frederick talks about the influence of radio and his interest in baseball

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lafayette Frederick describes his high school education pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lafayette Frederick describes his high school education pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lafayette Frederick describes his interest in botany

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lafayette Frederick talks about George Washington Carver

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lafayette Frederick describes being the valedictorian of his high school class

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lafayette Frederick describes attending Tuskegee University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lafayette Frederick describes the biology laboratory class that he taught while a sophomore at Tuskegee University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lafayette Frederick describes first seeing George Washington Carver

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lafayette Frederick describes George Washington Carver

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lafayette Frederick talks about his mentor at Tuskegee University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lafayette Frederick talks about professors who worked with George Washington Carver at Tuskegee University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lafayette Frederick talks about Dr. Charles Gomillion and his work on voter rights

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lafayette Frederick talks about people he met at Tuskegee University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lafayette Frederick describes being drafted while at Tuskegee University

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lafayette Frederick talks about the Tuskegee Airmen

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lafayette Frederick describes his employment on a turkey farm after graduating from Tuskegee University

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lafayette Frederick talks about being drafted into the U.S. Navy during World War II

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lafayette Frederick talks about the atomic bombing of Japan during World War II

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lafayette Frederick talks about being a draftsman in the Navy pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lafayette Frederick talks about being a draftsman in the Navy pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lafayette Frederick describes his part-time graduate work at the University of Hawaii

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lafayette Frederick talks about his thesis advisors at the University of Rhode Island

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lafayette Frederick describes his research on Dutch elm disease pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Lafayette Frederick describes his Master's thesis on Dutch elm disease

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Lafayette Frederick talks about his doctoral research at Washington State University

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Lafayette Frederick talks about becoming a professor at Southern University

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Lafayette Frederick describes how he met his wife

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Lafayette Frederick talks about creating the botany major at Southern University

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Lafayette Frederick describes his time as a professor at Southern University

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Lafayette Frederick describes why he left Southern University to teach at Atlanta University

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Lafayette Frederick describes organizing a faculty statement of disapproval against Southern University's president

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Lafayette Frederick describes the expulsion of student demonstrators from Southern University

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Lafayette Frederick talks about Felton G. Clark, Southern University's president

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Lafayette Frederick talks about the student protests at Southern University

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Lafayette Frederick talks about his students at Atlanta University

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Lafayette Frederick describes his research at Atlanta University

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Lafayette Frederick talks about taking students to scientific conferences

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Lafayette Frederick describes integrating the Association of Southeastern Biologists

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Lafayette Frederick talks about teaching at Howard University and the University of Georgia

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Lafayette Frederick describes returning to Tuskegee University to teach

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Lafayette Frederick describes his current research at Tuskegee University

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Lafayette Frederick reflects on his legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Lafayette Frederick talks about his family

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Lafayette Frederick describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Lafayette Frederick talks about attending scientific conferences

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Lafayette Frederick talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Lafayette Frederick describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$7

DAStory

3$1

DATitle
Lafayette Frederick describes George Washington Carver
Lafayette Frederick talks about creating the botany major at Southern University
Transcript
Now, my roommate, during my senior year, one of my roommates was sent down to work in Dr. Carver's laboratory and Talvage Martin tells me a wonderful story about that because Dr. Carver's lab, he never threw anything away. If he would get a package, you know, wrapped in twine, he wouldn't throw the twine away, he would attach it to another piece of twine and he had a great big ball of twine, he never threw anything away. So his lab looked very junky. So Talvage says that he went down and he was approaching Dr. Carver to work in his lab and he didn't see him working in the lab. He said he saw a fellow sitting back in the side room, but he said, "Wonder where is Dr. Carver is, how could he work in a lab like this', he went on to talk about, "this junky lab, says how could he do this?'" He said, "Well, he's not here so I guess I'll come back tomorrow and see him." When he came back the person who had been sitting there--he saw sitting in that room was Dr. Carver. And he said Dr. Carver said, "Well, young man, now if you think that you can straighten up this laboratory, that's fine, proceed, go right ahead and reorganize it." He said he was so embarrassed. Of course he had gone on and on about how junky that lab was.$$Now was he a very tall person, Dr. Carver?$$Yeah, he was kind of stooped with everything, you know, in getting long with age, he was, I guess, he was around six [feet], a little over six, maybe six, one [inch], something like that.$$All right. I've heard he had a real high voice.$$Had a very pitched voice. You see, that's another story. The first time I heard him, when I was a freshman, and he was to be the chapel speaker, and I was sitting there and I was waiting for Dr. Carver to speak, and he--he wasn't there in person because he was in New York City [New York] and he was going to give his talk to the group by radio. Well I kept waiting and I heard this person speaking with this very high-pitched voice and I kept listening. So I asked the fellow who was sitting next to me, I said, "When Dr. Carver going to start speaking?" He said well that's Dr. Carver speaking now. He did have a very high-pitched voice.$$Okay. So he was around campus up until your senior year?$$He died January of my senior year.$$Was he well most of the time?$$Yeah, he seemed to have been well most of the time. He seemed to be up and about. He wasn't as active anymore, but he seemed to be up and about. We didn't know--there was no period of prolonging illness as far as we knew. But then, I guess it's during January, that morning or sometime the word began to circulate on the campus that Dr. Carver had just died.$$Okay. What did he die from, do you know, was it a stroke or something?$$No. I don't know.$$Okay. This is in 1940--$$1943.$$1943. Okay.$Southern University 1952, Baton Rouge [Louisiana], what was Southern like?$$Well, I knew that I was going to really try to cast my lot, although I was interested in research and that sort of thing, and when the chairman of the department at plant pathology in Washington State [University, Pullman Washington], wrote a letter to the people at Southern, they said, "Well now, unless you provide opportunities for research for him, he's not likely to stay." Well, I knew that our schools at that time, that the research opportunities were not going to be very good, but I, as Dr. Howard told me up until the last time I saw him before he died, he said, "You know, you're a man true to your words because when I talked with you, you told me, you said well I'm going to get prepared and I am going to go back and I'm going to work in a predominately black school." So I ended up refusing any offers to go elsewhere, so even after getting to Southern. But conditions for teaching and research were primitive in a since, but the chairman of the department, J. Warren Lee, had a degree from University of Iowa [Iowa City, Iowa], and he was interested in getting some research done, and he was interested in bringing young people in who had an interest in research, and he would do all he could in order to try to help you get some sort of research started there. But after I got there, he asked me, he said, "Well now, I want to start a botany major curriculum within the biology department, and I want you to plan that." And the two of us head that up. So that was what I started working on. I started teaching various courses in botany and started a botany curriculum and ended up with my first three majors in that curriculum were really top students. Each one of them went on to get advanced degrees. The fact of the matter is one of those students became an internationally renowned mycologist and chair of the Department of Botany at [University of California at] Berkeley [Berkeley, California] and not just a graduate professor, but a dean, associate dean of a graduate program at Berkeley, California. He came from a little place, Plaisance, Louisiana, first in his family, big family to go to college, but he was outstanding. He was one of the first of the three botany majors that I had at Southern.$$And what is his name?$$Collins. O'Neil Ray Collins. O'-N-E-I-L-L, O'Neil Ray Collins.$$Okay, and he became a dean at--$$He became chairman of the botany at Berkeley, and associate, assistant dean to the graduate school.$$Now, is he still around?$$He passed untimely. He had Lou Gehrig's disease, or something like that back in the middle '80s (1980s) or early '80s (1980s), he passed away, but he had become internationally renowned for his work with a group of organisms that we call myxomycetes, the slime molds, genetics of that group.$$You had two other outstanding students, you said?$$Well, those are the first three. I had several others after that. Practically all of them got doctorate degrees, either from [University of] Oklahoma [Norman, Oklahoma] or [University of] New Hampshire [Durham, New Hampshire] or a couple other places.

Mary Harris

Health researcher Mary Styles Harris was born on June 26, 1949 in Nashville, Tennessee. She later moved to Miami. Her father, George Styles, was finishing his studies at Meharry Medical College, and her mother, Margaret, had completed her degree in business administration at Tennessee State University. In 1963 Harris was one of the first African Americans to enter Miami Jackson High School. Four years later, she graduated 12th out a class of 350. Harris graduated from Lincoln University (Pennsylvania) in 1971, and then enrolled at Cornell University where she Ford Foundation Doctoral Fellowship to study molecular genetics. She graduated with her Ph.D. degree in 1975.

In 1977, Harris became the executive director of the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia, where she raised money to fight sickle-cell anemia and was in a position to inform the public about this very serious condition. Harris was awarded a Science Residency Award by the National Science Foundation. After a period spent in Washington, D.C. completing her Science Residency, Harris became the state director of Genetic Services for the Georgia Department of Human Resources. From this position, she could also influence health policies nationwide, and her advice was sought by health officials in other states. In addition to work in Genetic Services, Harris was a part-time assistant professor at Morehouse College in Atlanta and at Atlanta University. To make life even busier, the couple's daughter was born during this period. Then, Harris became founder and president of BioTechnical Communications, which actively focuses on health issues by producing audiovisual materials on such health topics as breast cancer, an issue of major concern among minority women.

Harris’ interest in preventive health care has led her to get involved in new born screening of Sickle-cell disease and sitting on the Atlanta board of the March of Dimes. Also, she has produced television and radio shows, and she hosts a radio show, “Journey To Wellness,” and has developed a documentary, “To My Sisters... A Gift For Life.” Harris has received several awards for her research and advocacy, including the National Cancer Research postdoctoral fellowship, the Ford Foundation Doctoral Fellowship, and the Outstanding Working Woman from Glamour magazine.

Mary Styles Harris was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 11, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.208

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/11/2012

Last Name

Harris

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Styles

Occupation
Schools

University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

Cornell University

Lincoln University

Miami Jackson Senior High School

First Name

Mary

Birth City, State, Country

Nashville

HM ID

HAR37

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

All that glitters is not gold

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

6/26/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Barbecue (Ribs)

Short Description

Health researcher Mary Harris (1949 - ) received her Ph.D. degree from Cornell University and is the founder of BioTechnical Communications, Inc.

Employment

BioTechnical Communications, Inc.

Georgia Department of Human Services, Division of Public Health

Medical College of Georgia

Emory University

Atlanta University

National Science Foundation (NSF)

Morehouse College School of Medicine

Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia

WGTV

Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Mary Harris' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Mary Harris lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Mary Harris describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Mary Harris describes her mother's life in Nashville

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Mary Harris describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Mary Harris talks about her parents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Mary Harris describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Mary Harris talks about her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Mary Harris describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Mary Harris talks about her early life in Miami, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Mary Harris describes the sights and sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Mary Harris describes life in the Brownsville community of Miami in the 1950s

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Mary Harris describes her childhood in Miami

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Mary Harris talks about the integration of Jackson High School in Miami

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Mary Harris talks about the problems with her grade school education

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Mary Harris talks about television in the 1950s and 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Mary Harris describes her childhood interest in science

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Mary Harris describes her experience in middle school

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Mary Harris talks about African American political activism in the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Mary Harris talks about her father's death and the family's new business

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Mary Harris talks about Liberty City, Miami

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Mary Harris talks about President John F. Kennedy's assassination

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Mary Harris describes race relations in Miami in the 1950s and 1960s - part one

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Mary Harris describes the establishment of the Cuban community in Miami

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Mary Harris describes race relations in Miami in the 1950s and 1960s - part two

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Mary Harris describes the Bahamian community in Miami

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Mary Harris discusses Sidney Poitier

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Mary Harris describes her experience at Jackson High School

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Mary Harris describes her science education at Jackson High School

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Mary Harris describes her decision to attend Lincoln University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Mary Harris describes her experience at Lincoln University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Mary Harris describes the loss of private medical practices

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Mary Harris describes her decision to pursue a Ph.D. degree instead of a medical degree

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Mary Harris describes how she earned a Ford Foundation fellowship

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Mary Harris describes her experience as a doctoral student at Cornell University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Mary Harris describes her experience as a doctoral student at Cornell University

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Mary Harris describes her Ph.D. dissertation research on the molecular mechanism of killer factor in yeast

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Mary Harris talks about being married in graduate school

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Mary Harris describes the challenges she experienced during her post-doctoral training at Rutger's Medical College

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Mary Harris describes her role as an executive director of the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Mary Harris describes her work in STEM-related programming in collaboration with the National Science Foundation

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Mary Harris talks about Dr. James Bowman

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Mary Harris talks about receiving the Outstanding Working Woman Award

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Mary Harris describes her experience at the Georgia Department of Human Services

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Mary Harris talks about her documentary production, 'To My Sisters, A Gift For Life'

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Mary Harris describes her work in television and radio broadcasting on science and health

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Mary Harris talks about the major health concerns in the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Mary Harris describes her television production, 'Keeping Up With The Walkers' - part one

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Mary Harris reflects upon her non-traditional career path in science

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Mary Harris describes the impact of her work in science communication - part one

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Mary Harris reflects upon her career

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Mary Harris reflects upon potential post-retirement pursuits

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Mary Harris describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Mary Harris talks about her family

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Mary Harris reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Mary Harris reflects upon the people who influenced her life

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Mary Harris talks about how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$5

DAStory

4$10

DATitle
Mary Harris describes the challenges she experienced during her post-doctoral training at Rutger's Medical College
Mary Harris talks about her documentary production, 'To My Sisters, A Gift For Life'
Transcript
Okay, okay. So now at Rutgers [University, New Brunswick, New Jersey], now did he, did you, you all moved to New Jersey--$$We moved to New Jersey because he had to go work for Bell Laboratories, which was in Homedel and I got a post-doc at Rutgers Medical School because I had a friend who had gone to Lincoln [University, West Chester, Pennsylvania] with me, who sat next to me at all my classes, we're friends to this day. And in the old days they took roll and they--his last name was Staley [ph.] and my last name was Styles. So we sat next to each other. And when he, he said I don't care what [James] Burney says, I'm going to medical school, which he did. And he was at Rutgers. And when I sent to see him and I said you know I'm having trouble finding a post-doc, he said let me take you to meet the dean. Lo and behold the dean was black, Harold Logan. And Harold Logan said we would love to have you here, I'll arrange the money. It happened just that quickly. And so I had a post-doc. And I went there and was very interested--I was assigned a project that was similar to something I had worked on as a graduate student. And there was a girl who had worked on this problem before me. So what happens is you, when you pick up a project, you go into the project and you replicate the experiments before you and then you move forward. And the replication shouldn't take you long because the work should have been validated, so you kind of replicate the work quickly so that you can make sure that the results are as they are, and then you move forward. Well when I tried to replicate the results, I couldn't get it to work and I was very arrogant. I had been through pure hell at Cornell [University, Ithaca, New York]. I felt I'm really smart. I mean I know a lot. Why can't I get this to work? I did the experiments for three or four months, I couldn't get them to work. Finally somebody said you need to check--I was working with tissue culture. And they said what you need to do is you need to check and see if the cell lines are contaminated. And I did. And the phenomenon that this girl before me had done her dissertation, gotten her Ph.D. on, and they had millions of dollars in grant money riding at the National Institute of Health [NIH] on this. It was an artifact of contaminated cell culture. And before I got there nobody had ever checked. Now this was a problem. It's a problem for a number of reasons. One, I had spent almost now a year has gone by before I really figure out what's, what the problem is here. Two, so I wasted a year. Post-docs are two years. I've wasted a year. Three, I need to tell somebody because it's no good. None of this, none of the papers that got published before I got there are good. None of the research grants, writing and NIH [National Institute of Health] are any good. It's all crap. The department chairman calls me in. He knows I know. He's trying to figure out what I'm going to do. And he says to me look, I know you've wasted a whole year. I, I don't want you to tell anybody about this. What I want you to do is you spend another year, I will write you a recommendation for any job you want anywhere and I will give you a lab assistant. So I was a post-doc. It's like the low, lowest of the low, right. And so you do all that stuff yourself. He says I'll give you a lab assistant, somebody to help you. That way it will take you half the time to do the work that you need to do 'cause you're going to have some help. So I said okay, fine. He said but you know don't, don't tell anybody about this, don't do anything. I'll just do this. I go back, I'm really happy now. I don't care, I don't care, I just want the lab assistant so I can get my work done, get my papers published and go. Well as it turns out, he never had any intention of giving me a lab assistant, never. Several months go by, no lab assistant. I go back to him and I say what about the lab assistant? He says well you know I want to give you the lab assistant, but we don't have any money. I went right downstairs to the dean and I said, I told the dean everything that happened. He was so outraged, he got the money for the lab assistant. I go back upstairs, I see the department chair and I say guess what? You don't have to worry about the money anymore. The dean gave me the money. He was so angry, he told me he said I will not write any letters of recommendation. I couldn't figure out what had happened. I thought I had done a good thing by going and getting the money. He said no, he said I'm not going to write any letters of recommendation for you. This has so angered me. How dare you go over my head? Blah, blah, blah, blah. So I finished up the post-doc, was able to get a job without his letter of recommendation and I thought that's it, I'm through with bench work. It's too much politics involved in this. What I didn't have an appreciation for because I was so young in my career, was that I really did have the upper hand, I just didn't know it. I knew, I mean I could have essentially sat down and said okay, here's what I want. Because they had this stuff going to NIH requesting money for stuff that was really an artifact. It was contaminated with mycoplasma [type of bacteria], the mycoplasma was absorbing the nutrients and that's why they were seeing what they were seeing. It had nothing to do with the cell line whatsoever. But I didn't know, I was young and he knew I was young. And he knew I didn't know how all of that worked, so he essentially took advantage of me. So I--anyway through with lab work, through with bench work and on to my first job, which is in Atlanta [Georgia]. And that's how I wound up in Atlanta.$Okay. Now in 1992, now this is a--so throughout the '80s [1980s], throughout the Reagan Administration and George Bush the first and stuff you were doing, you were working for the state of Georgia. In '92 [1992] you were the founder of, of Biotechnical Communications, Incorporated. Now so just kind of tell us how--$$So in a nutshell, I moved to California with my husband because of his work. And the commute from where we're living into Los Angeles is hellacious. And I say I cannot do this every day. And I start doing technical writing for biotechnology companies. And they tell me while I'm doing this writing, I'm looking at what they're doing and I see this small business innovation research grant. And I think why am I writing this for them? I write this for myself. I go back home and I'm watching TV, I was actually telling Patrice [Coleman, who is observing the interview] this story earlier. And I'm watching a talk show personality talk about breast cancer in black women and she's doing an awful job, it's, it's simply awful. And I say to myself you know, I think I could do a better job. Get on the phone the next morning and I called National Institute of Health [NIH]. I say to the guy you know here's what I want to do. He says let me send you an application. Again, there was no downloading, let me mail you an application. And he kind of walked me through how to fill it out and how to write it. And it got funded on peer review. And I--so I went on to produce this television special 'To My Sisters, A Gift For Life'. It was the first documentary done on black women and breast cancer in this country. And it went on to win some awards. But the television experience so wore me out I thought I cannot go back to this. And then I began to develop my business by writing these grants to NIH, getting the money to do the research around--the research issues around it, but also to do the productions. And so I went from television, to radio, from radio to internet. And so I've just recently finished an animated program based on health around African Americans called 'Keeping Up With The Walkers'. So that's how my business developed.$$Okay, okay. So these--say the, the first one, the breast cancer video 'To My Sisters'. Now where was it broadcast and how--$$BET [Black Entertainment Television] broadcast that.$$Okay.$$And it was interesting because by the time we got to the broadcast after producing the show, by the time we got to the broadcast, they actually did not have an appropriate timeslot. And so what they said was well we'll put it on, but we'll put it on on Sunday morning at eleven o'clock. I said that's when every black woman in America is in church. Why would you do this? But they did. And surprisingly by word of mouth, of course there's some people who were home will see, it was so popular that they had to rerun it. And then we took it after the rerun and we turned it into a video. And I think we wound up distributing about 8,000 of those things across the country because there had been nothing like it before. And it was just a--it was just wonderful to see it.$$Now did you consult with doctors around?$$Yeah.$$Okay.$$I did.$$Who were some of the--$$Tony Disher; he's a radiation oncologist. We--I worked very closely with the American Cancer Society and with the National Cancer Institute. So Oscar Streeter [ph.], Tony Disher, Otis Brawley [ph.]. Those are some of the people that we worked with.$$Okay, and there's several points bulleted here that the, that the video was to accomplish and can you maybe talk about what you intended to do with it?$$Well the goal was to get black women engaged in this dialogue about breast cancer and to get it out of the closet and into the public dialogue. We wanted to--wanted them to understand that even though we have a lower incidence, we have a higher death rate from the disease. We wanted to emphasize that mammography was key and to demonstrate why and how it works and why it works. So, so people will say well I had a mammogram five years ago, why do I need another one? Well we were able to actually demonstrate why an annual mammogram is so important of course because you see early changes in the breast tissue, you see those changes early. So you, you can find the change here as opposed to waiting to five years later when it's a full grown lump. Because by the time you feel a lump, it's been growing for about seven years. So you really are--it, it's great to be able to visualize it way, way when it's microscopic as opposed to waiting until you can feel--although it's nothing wrong with finding a lump that you can feel. The other thing is that treatment is important. It's not only important to get the mammogram, but to get the treatment. And where we tend to fall down now because the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia] has a very aggressive breast and cervical cancer screening program, is the treatment. So black women will say I don't want to, I don't want to do this because I can't afford the treatment. The treatment is going to make me sick, I need to work. I don't need to be home sick. I, I, I don't have anybody to keep my kids and I say to them who will keep your kids when you're dead? It's, it's a simple choice. Who will keep your kids when you're dead versus who will keep your kids now? So you need to see about doing this now. So the, so the problems that arise for black women are not so much money for mammograms, but money for treatment. That's where the biggest--I see the biggest challenge for black women.

Gregory Jenkins

Atmospheric scientist Gregory S. Jenkins was born on May 13, 1963 in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a child, Jenkins was fascinated by the weather. He received his B.S. degree in physics from Lincoln University in Lincoln, Pennsylvania in 1987. Jenkins went on to earn his M.S. and his Ph.D. degrees in atmospheric science from the University of Michigan in 1989 and 1991, respectively. His doctoral thesis was entitled, “An Investigation of Archean Climate using the NCAR CCM.”

In 1991, Jenkins began a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Center for Atmospheric Science (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado. Two years later, he became a research associate at the Earth Systems Science Center at Pennsylvania State University. In 1996, Jenkins served for a semester as an assistant professor of physics at Howard University before joining Pennsylvania State University as an assistant professor in the Department of Meteorology. He was promoted to associate professor at Pennsylvania State University in 2003. In the same year, he received the J. William Fulbright Research Award to go to Senegal and worked at Cheikh Anta Diop University on climate change research. Jenkins returned to Howard University in 2004 as an associate professor and director of Howard University’s Atmospheric Science Program. In 2006, he served as a United States African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis (AMMA) committee member and downstream Special Observing Period 3 (SOP3) member. From 2007 to 2010, he held the position of Department of Physics and Astronomy chair. Jenkins’ research focused on tropical storm systems, monsoons and hurricanes. He has travelled all over the world to conduct his research including Senegal, Cape Verde and Barbados. Jenkins has published over forty peer-reviewed publications and was an editor and contributor to the text The Extreme Proterozoic: Geology, Geochemistry and Climate .

Jenkins has held memberships in the American Meteorological Society, National Society of Black Physicists, American Physical Society, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and served as an associated editor for AGU-Journal of Geophysical Research. He was the recipient of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Career Award and the National Technical Association (NTA) Technical Achiever of the Year Award. Jenkins lives in Washington, D.C.

Gregory S. Jenkins was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 29, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.150

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/29/2012

Last Name

Jenkins

Maker Category
Marital Status

Seperated

Schools

Lincoln University

University of Michigan

St. Agatha Elementary School

West Philadelphia Catholic High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Gregory

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

JEN08

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Senegal, West Africa

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

5/13/1963

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ceebu Jen

Short Description

Atmospheric scientist Gregory Jenkins (1963 - ) , a leader in the study of tropical weather systems and hurricanes, served as the director of Howard University’s Atmospheric Science Program and a committee member of United States African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis (AMMA).

Employment

National Center for Atmospheric Research

Pennsylvania State University

Howard University

Penn State University

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Gregory Jenkins's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Gregory Jenkins lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Gregory Jenkins describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Gregory Jenkins describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Gregory Jenkins talks about his father's experience in the U.S. Army

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Gregory Jenkins talks about his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Gregory Jenkins talks about his family and growing up in Philadelphia

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Gregory Jenkins describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Gregory Jenkins describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Gregory Jenkins talks about his childhood interest in science and weather

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Gregory Jenkins talks about going to Catholic schools and his experience in Catholic church growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Gregory Jenkins talks about his interest in the weather

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Gregory Jenkins talks about his interest in math and science and his lack of interest in English in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Gregory Jenkins talks about his family struggles

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Gregory Jenkins talks about his high school experience, part 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Gregory Jenkins talks about his high school experience, part 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Gregory Jenkins talks about his sister, Renee and the influence she had on him.

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Gregory Jenkins talks about his interest in basketball

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Gregory Jenkins talks about his lack of guidance for college

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Gregory Jenkins talks about his academically challenging experiences at Drexel University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Gregory Jenkins talks about his experience at Philadelphia Community College and decision to attend Lincoln University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Gregory Jenkins talks about his mentors at Lincoln University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Gregory Jenkins talks about his road trip to Michigan and his mentor, atmospheric scientist Warren Washington

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Gregory Jenkins describes his dissertation research concerning the Archean climate

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Gregory Jenkins talks about the importance of cultural communities within academic institutions

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Gregory Jenkins talks about his experience at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, part 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Gregory Jenkins talks about his experience at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, part 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Gregory Jenkins talks about his experiences at Pennsylvania State University and Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Gregory Jenkins talks about his West African climate change research

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Gregory Jenkins talks about his professional activities and publications

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Gregory Jenkins talks about his passion for his work in Africa

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Gregory Jenkins talks about Africa's influence on weather events

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Gregory Jenkins talks about the equipment needed to conduct his research and impediments to conducting his research in Senegal

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Gregory Jenkins talks about his experience at the American Meteorological Society Conference

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Gregory Jenkins talks about the lack of sustainable infrastructure in disenfranchised communities

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Gregory Jenkins talks about African contributions to the academy

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Gregory Jenkins talks about the documentary on the 2010 Hurricane Field Campaign

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Gregory Jenkins talks about including his students in his research and field studies abroad

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Gregory Jenkins talks about his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Gregory Jenkins reflects upon his life and legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Gregory Jenkins talks about the issues surrounding climate change and Africa's significance in understanding it

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Gregory Jenkins talks about his family

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Gregory Jenkins talks about the role of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Gregory Jenkins talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$8

DAStory

3$3

DATitle
Gregory Jenkins talks about his childhood interest in science and weather
Gregory Jenkins talks about the issues surrounding climate change and Africa's significance in understanding it
Transcript
Okay, so when you were a kid growing up, what were you mainly interested in doing, and what did you do? What was your personality like?$$The thing is, I was always interested in the stuff that typical kids are interested in. I wanted to be on the basketball court. I loved Dr. "J" [Julius Erving, Philadelphia 76ers]. I love all of it, okay. And that was just part of me, but there was this curiosity for science and mainly, weather, nature. I had a really, I have a good friend. His dad would take me and my brother to, and John, my friend, his son, to the University of Penn [Pennsylvania], and we'd go to the Observatory and, you know, to gaze at the stars. That, that along with my interests of weather, you know, something that was always there. I mean like, for weather, you didn't really have to go far. You could go outside your door and you could see, wow, these are really big, violent thunderstorms or two feet of snow. I mean it was there. So it was like, the laboratory was already there for me. So that was always a curiosity, and I was, I was constantly interested in learning more and more about it. So I would go to the free library, which was kind of far away, but I would check out books about weather. And, you know, I'd look at these equations. I'm like, what are--how is this related to (laughter) understanding this phenomena? Their books were always too far above me in terms of the math, like, hum, I didn't know what Calculus was at that time. But my interests was always there. So my interest in natural, in physical sciences were always there. As far, I mean I don't know how far back that goes. But it's just always been part of me even to this day. So I feel the same way if you see me in West Africa, and I'm looking at these forecasts. I'm looking at the satellite images of this big dust storm that's projected to come two days away, and I'm excited. I'm waking up in the morning. I'm taking pictures of the sun. I'm, I was the same way before a big snowstorm, like when is it gonna happen? Okay, why didn't it happen? Okay, why did it rain instead of snow? You know, these are always things that drove me, in addition to basketball and all the other stuff that kids do.$$So you've always been interested in the weather.$$Yeah.$$Is there any, your friend's father, you said--$$Yeah.$$--did he work for the Observatory?$$No, he just, he would--$$He just liked to take the kids to the--$$He had colleagues at Penn [Pennsylvania State University]. I mean he didn't work down at Penn, but he had colleagues there, and I used to think he was also a science enthusiast. So I think it was just something that he did anyway. And, for me, it was like, you know, this is great stuff, like--and I think that living in the city, you often don't see enough of the sky. But I was often like interested, like there's the "Belt of Orion". Why is it here in January, but then other times of year, I can't see it that well? Why did it move? You know, those were more curiosities, not knowing that it was the Belt of Orion, just like the way the stars lined up or they lined up or why is this--which I didn't know it was Venus at the time, why is it so bright? You know, what is it, and there was not really enough. There was no one I could talk to and say, you know, is that Venus over there? But the main thing was the library and then once in a while being able to go down to the Observatory to feed your, to feed your hunger for knowledge.$$So the Observatory was at the Franklin Institute or--$$It wasn't in the Franklin. It was on the University of Penn's campus. Now, I did go to the Franklin Institute. I did go to the Natural Academy of Sciences. I loved going to those places. Those were places where I felt like, wow, this is right where I belong, yeah.$Okay, now, do you have a big project ahead of you that you would to, is there something that you could wrap up that you'd wanna do before you, you know, or do you see things in more of an ongoing--$$I think it's always ongoing. The key question for climate change that I'm really trying to struggle with is will it be wetter or drier? And there are competing hypothesis that I would like to test out over the next few years. I still won't know 'cause we have to see it play out (laughter). That's the only thing, but it would certainly be nice to tell policymakers, this is where our confidence is. You know, we feel pretty strongly about this, and we feel pretty strongly about that. But my, my intuition tells me, Mother Earth is not gonna tell us that, that we're going to have to be aware. It's gonna be happening in real time. You're gonna know after the fact, but you'd better prepare for all scenarios. You'd better think about protecting all of your citizens. On another angle with respect to atmospheric chemistry, we've been looking at the role of dust and how it changed ozone, a major, is the greenhouse gas, but it's also a pollutant. And we've seen some just amazing stuff from Africa that lightening, the lightening stroke itself produces so much natural ozone above 8,000, 10,000, 12,000 feet, like, like, just amazing, just, it, you cannot predict. You can only observe. Our observations that we've taken over the last two years, have just blown us away. We're trying to contextualize that in terms of the science that we know and the processes that we know. But we know that there is so much to it, that, like, I will never, I won't be here to fully appreciate all of that. But it's leaving so much room for new scholars to say, look, we're gonna go out. We're gonna need aircraft. We're gonna go explore. We're gonna try to understand this. We're gonna develop a new model. We're gonna do that, we're gonna do that. So much. There's such a, such a wealthy--Africa is wealthy not just for minerals and oil and all those other things. It's wealthy because of its people. It's wealthy because of the knowledge that it's constantly teaching you. You know, it's not, there is no end of the chapter. The book never closes.

Agnes Day

Microbiologist Agnes A. Day was born on July 20, 1952 in Plains, Georgia to Annie Lee Laster and David Laster. The youngest of thirteen children, Day was raised by her third-grade teacher, Reverend Mrs. Rose Marie Bryon. Day’s interest in science began when she and her older brother would walk through the woods catching insects and animals. After graduating from Mainland Sr. High School, Day attended Bethune-Cookman College in Florida where she received her B.S. degree in biology. Day then attended Howard University, graduating with her Ph.D. degree in microbiology in 1984.

After obtaining her graduate degree, Day became a research fellow in the Bone Research Branch at the National Institute of Dental Research, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She left in 1988 to join the faculty at Howard University as an assistant professor. Since 1992, Day has served as a tenured associate professor of microbiology in the College of Medicine at Howard University. She also has held the position of chair of the department of microbiology. In addition to instructing students in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and coordinating graduate courses, Day is known for her research on drug-resistant fungi and breast cancer health disparities. She serves as a Scientific Reviewer for research grants submitted to the National Institutes of Health, The National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense Cancer Research Initiatives. Day is in demand as a science expert, having been interviewed as part of a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) special and TheGrio’s Black History series. In addition, she has served on numerous panels as a scientific expert in microbiology and breast cancer research.

In 1995, Day was awarded the Outstanding Research Award by the Howard University College of Medicine. She has also received the College’s Kaiser-Permanente Outstanding Teaching Award, and has mentored over forty students. Day is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research and sits on its Minorities in Cancer Research and Women in Cancer Research committees. She is also a member of the American Society for Microbiology where she is a member of the Committee on Microbiological Issues which Impact Minorities (CMIIM). Day received the William A. Hinton Award for outstanding research mentoring from this organization in 2011. She also served as a consultant for the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Black Churches-Black Colleges program. Day lives in Washington, D.C.

Agnes Day was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 4, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.085

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/4/2012

Last Name

Day

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

A

Occupation
Schools

Bethune-Cookman University

Mainland Sr. High School.

Campbell Middle School

Bonner Elementary School

Howard University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Agnes

Birth City, State, Country

Americus

HM ID

DAY02

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

7/20/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Mangoes

Short Description

Mycologist Agnes Day (1952 - ) is an expert on drug- resistant fungi and breast cancer health disparities working in Howard University’s College of Medicine.

Employment

National Institute of Health (NIH)

Howard University

Woodward & Lothrop Department Store

Children's Center

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:3028,23:3982,34:4406,39:5678,53:6102,58:6526,63:7480,75:8434,86:9388,97:15572,141:24790,297:32662,462:32990,467:35286,503:44486,609:45238,618:48904,672:57702,770:60292,806:60662,812:61254,822:64464,838:74635,953:75325,961:90860,1068:91343,1076:92171,1091:108849,1272:113412,1320:113868,1327:114172,1332:116528,1374:118048,1406:119264,1422:123368,1499:123748,1505:128950,1543:131984,1595:136002,1677:137560,1708:139938,1742:144820,1759:155260,1865:156860,1900:157180,1905:160960,1931:167037,2036:181470,2207$0,0:6779,99:7314,105:18852,206:21060,242:24504,264:26454,308:31992,406:42618,557:43833,575:48612,645:48936,650:49584,658:50232,667:62865,787:67143,914:71339,956:71837,963:82614,1104:93126,1241:95790,1296:97014,1316:97590,1327:105222,1487:106446,1506:106950,1514:114344,1554:115352,1568:115912,1574:121034,1596:127109,1720:127838,1731:128486,1753:130025,1789:131159,1816:131726,1835:163006,2285:163376,2293:163820,2303:170480,2455:180248,2590:180618,2596:182468,2642:192380,2734:193355,2754:194330,2780:195045,2794:196345,2823:202760,2867:204048,2888:204784,2917:205244,2923:207912,2965:208740,2976:210672,3005:211316,3014:212328,3030:212696,3035:213248,3047:213984,3056:229006,3200:229582,3209:236710,3282:238950,3329:240550,3360:240870,3365:244470,3438:246950,3487:247270,3492:247590,3497:248630,3519:249270,3528:250310,3560:253670,3634:256470,3686:256870,3692:262920,3720:271960,3879:285688,4079:286068,4085:292376,4200:294808,4251:295112,4256:298780,4267:299032,4272:299536,4282:299914,4290:310494,4395:312978,4447:322968,4579:326076,4646:328222,4680:328666,4703:331774,4759:336589,4825:339670,4856:344410,4967:346306,5026:347254,5037:350493,5089:368926,5302:371460,5356:380234,5492:391817,5678:392953,5700:393308,5709:393663,5715:394870,5734:395509,5750:398846,5836:399130,5841:399414,5846:400053,5856:408082,5952:408970,5969:409636,5981:410672,5998:410968,6003:413884,6028:414388,6038:422480,6177:423120,6186:426000,6231:426320,6236:427200,6249:433069,6297:438630,6384:439460,6410:439958,6418:441120,6436:441618,6444:445270,6505:454140,6562:456660,6596:463230,6691:473570,6793
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Agnes Day's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Agnes Day lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Agnes Day describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Agnes Day talks about her family's sharecropping roots in Plains, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Agnes Day describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Agnes Adeline Day explains how her father left the family

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Agnes Day talks about her mother's childhood connection with President Jimmy Carter

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Agnes Day recalls a sharecropping story from her brother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Agnes Day talks about relocating to Florida as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Agnes Day lists her siblings and describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Agnes Day describes her early childhood memories of her father

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Agnes Day talks about taking after her mother's personality

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Agnes Day describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Agnes Day discusses the use of corporal punishment in her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Agnes Day recalls her most memorable sight as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Agnes Day talks about kindergarten and first grade in Daytona Beach, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Agnes Day talks about the history of and segregation in Daytona Beach, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Agnes Day remembers meeting her third-grade teacher, Rose Marie Bryan

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Agnes Day talks about her love for reading, instilled by her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Agnes Day talks about being informally adopted by her teacher, Rose Marie Bryan

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Agnes Day talks about Rose Marie Bryan and her foster children

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Agnes Day talks about living with Rosie Marie Bryan

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Agnes Day reflects upon being torn between her mother and Rose Marie Bryan

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Agnes Day talks about the Children's Center and vacation bible school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Agnes Day talks about her reputation in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Agnes Day describes the feud between the Laster family and the Persell family

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Agnes Day talks about extracurricular activities and social life in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Agnes Day talks about her memories of the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Agnes Day talks about moving from a segregated to an integrated high school

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Agnes Day describes her decision to attend Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Agnes Day describes her health problems at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Agnes Day talks about transferring to Bethune-Cookman University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Agnes Day talks about meeting her husband

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Agnes Day talks about her graduate program in bacteriology at Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Agnes Day talks about obtaining her Ph.D. degree in microbiology at Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Agnes Day discusses the differences between scientists and physicians

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Agnes Day describes her doctoral dissertation

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Agnes Day talks about how she was encouraged to build confidence during graduate school

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Agnes Day describes the findings of her research on Cryptococcus

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Agnes Day talks about future research on Cryptococcus

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Agnes Day describes her experience at the National Institute for Dental Research

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Agnes Day talks about joining the faculty of Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Agnes Day discusses the implications of the excessive use of antibacterial agents

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Agnes Day describes returning to Howard University as a faculty member

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Agnes Day describes her research on breast cancer

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Agnes Day discusses her study of heritable and acquired skin diseases

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Agnes Day talks about the skin disease Xeroderma Pigmentosa

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Agnes Day talks about breast cancer in black women

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Agnes Day discusses environmental and genetic risk factors for skin cancer and protective measures against the disease

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Agnes Day talks about her coverage of the war against microbes on PBS

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Agnes Day talks about microorganisms in the body

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Agnes Day talks about her scientific publications

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Agnes Day talks about her daughter's diagnosis with breast cancer

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Agnes Day reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Agnes Day describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community today

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Agnes Day talks about her family and her brother Larry

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Agnes Day talks about how she would like to be remembered

DASession

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DATitle
Agnes Day describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up
Agnes Day describes her experience at the National Institute for Dental Research
Transcript
All right, so, now, we always ask this question, and what were some of the sights and sounds and smells of growing up?$$Funny you should ask that (laughter). I was just thinking about this the other day, had no idea it was coming. My mother [Annie Lee Harvey] would, 5:00 o'clock every morning, take the broom and just bam on all the doors in the apartment that we lived in, "Rise and shine, make haste while the sun rises". "Get up, get up, get up, clean up this house, go to school", and then 6:00 o'clock, she was on the bus going to her maid's jobs. And in the summertime when school was out, I would actually walk her to the bus stop and just hold onto her dress until she got on the bus. And when the bus took off, I would run alongside and wave to her. And then when the bus was gone, I could still smell the exhaust, and so even now when I've smelled bus exhaust, it triggers that memory of me running beside the bus waving at my mom. So that is definitely a smell that reminds me of childhood. A sound, (chuckle), I haven't heard this in a while, but leather belts smacking against flesh. I was not a bad child. I was an inquisitive child. And that inquisitiveness usually led to, I wonder what would happen if I did this versus that. And my brother, Larry, who when I was born I was told, told the family that this is my sister, and he made himself my personal guard. He and I would always dream up these experiments to do. Or we'd go into the woods and catch snakes, little black snakes or garden snakes or we'd catch grasshoppers and things, and we'd dissect them, for want of a better term, or we would put them on ant hills and let the ants eat the flesh. And then we'd take the skeletons in for show and tell at school. But the sound of just getting spanked for doing something that we should have known was not the thing to do. And back in the day, the neighbors had full permission to spank you. Well, let's call a spade a spade. They could whup us, as we used to say. So one day I remember getting four whippings. And I was inside my house, so thank God the neighbors didn't know about it. But in retrospect, I probably deserved it. But that another story (laughter).$Okay, so you got your PhD, now one of the, I guess, you had, you got a job--I don't know if it was right away, but with the National Institute of Health, right?$$Yes.$$And the National Institute for Dental Research.$$Yes.$$Now, what were you doing there?$$Okay, I worked at the National Institute for Dental Research for two summers prior to my graduation to keep body and soul together and to make enough money so that we can live on the five hundred dollars a month we were getting from our teaching stipends. And my advisor, Dr. Lena Austin, had done a sabbatical at the National Institute for Dental Research. And at the time, she was the only African American professional in the entire building. And that's a whole institute. So once she got in, made a good impression, worked hard, she said, "Well, you know, I have this graduate student. She's looking for a summer job." And the guy said, "Well, you know, if you've trained her, sure." So I worked there for two summers in two different labs. And so when I graduated, I didn't know if I was, indeed, gonna finish up everything in time to graduate in '84 [1984]. So to hedge my bets, I had applied for another summer job out there. And so when I graduated, thank God, I was basically brain dead. I was, I was just wiped out. I needed a break from thinking. Right now, I just want you to give me a protocol and let me go through the motions. I don't want to have to come up with a hypothesis and create a protocol to test it. So I was working with a woman named Marion Young who had just become a staff scientist in the Bone Research branch of the Dental Institute. And so she says, "Okay, so you've worked here before." And she gave me a list of things she wanted me to do and a list of papers she wanted me to get from the library. But she says, "You know my first anniversary is coming up, and my husband is taking me to Rome [Italy] where we spent our honeymoon. So I'll be gone for two weeks." So for the first two weeks of my PhD career, I had nothing to do other than, you know, go to the library and pull these journal articles. But this person turned out, she's like a sister to me now. In fact, I was older than she was when we started out, and I was hired as a microbiologist for the summer. So after a couple of weeks, she gave me a project. She said, you know, "We're trying to isolate the gene for these bone proteins to try to determine if there's a biomarker that we could use to determine if a person is going to develop bone disease like osteoarthritis or osteoporosis. But we have to clone these genes, and we're trying to set up a molecular biology lab. And since you're here, you know, I want you to be a part of it. So I'm gonna give you, you know, this project, and you can work it along with me." So I said, "Sure, great, fine. No problem." So it turns out that at the end, the last, the very, the last two steps that I had to do in this three-month-long project of working on it every day, the last two days, I noticed that people were dropping into the lab off and on all day. I didn't think anything of it. The last day, I'm getting ready to add the final reagent, I look up. There's standing room only in the lab. So I said, "What's going on?" And so everybody's looking, waiting for these little blue dots to show up to indicate that I had been successful in this project. Ten blue dots showed up. Everybody started cheering, and I'm saying, okay, I'm beginning to take this personally 'cause I'm thinking that they're thinking, oh, this little black girl. She can't do nothing. It's not gonna work, you know, because that was my weakness, thinking I'm the only black professional. We have some black janitors, we have two black secretaries, but I'm the only one with a PhD, so the weight of the race is on my shoulders. I gotta do well, so when people started cheering, I said, you know what? Somebody's gonna give me an explanation. So my boss came out, and she said, "Well, you know, Marion, Pam next door grew the osteoblast cells in culture, and Larry isolated the proteins that we're studying and purified them and made antibodies to them. And she said, you're the second person, you're the third person we've given this project to that could not make it work. She said, you made it work. You isolated ten clones of this proteoglycan protein that we want to study as a possible biomarker." And so I said, "So this is a good thing, right?" And she said, (laughter), "Yes, a very good thing, Agnes." So I was supposed to leave at the end of September because it was only supposed to be a summer job. So the boss man, Dr. John Turmine (ph.), always calls me "kid," calls me into his office and he says, "So what are your plans for, you know, when this job ends?" And I said, "Well, you know, I've been brain dead all summer, so I guess I'll start looking for a real job." He said, "What do you wanna do?" And I said, "Well, I don't know. You know, I'm a microbiologist, and here I am working in basically histology anatomy, and biochemistry." He says, "Well, would you consider staying here?" I said, "Of course, if you would consider keeping me," said, "What'll I have to do?" He says, "Well, I have a post-doc" -- not a post-doc -- "I have a staff fellow position open and available. So I'm gonna put you in that slot." I said, "Well, don't you have to do a post-doc first?" He says, "I don't have a post-doc position. I have a staff fellow position. You want it or not, kid?" I said, "Yeah, okay (laughter)." And he says, "Don't say you slept all summer because you didn't. You got this project to work." And so based on that, we cloned about seven or eight different proteins that we thought were only associated with bone. It turns out most of them are all over the body, but they have different functions, depending on where they're found. So that was my start to being, to doing molecular biology. It had nothing and everything to do with microbiology because you could not have molecular biology without having microbiology. Most of the enzymes that are used to cut DNA [deoxyribonucleic acid] and past it onto somebody else's DNA, all of those enzymes are derived from bacteria and viruses. So that's the undergird, and so I was definitely a positive addition to the lab because I was able to give the theory behind what was going on in that little, tiny test tube as well as making experiments work. So, I felt really great, and I was able to get a couple more of my fellow melon and blessed colleagues on out there in summer positions, some kids that I had mentored when I was a graduate student. And I got them summer jobs out there. So it was, it was generations basically, starting with my advisor, Dr. Austin.$$Okay.

Andrea Lawrence

Computer scientist and computer science professor Andrea Lawrence was born in Asheville, North Carolina on October 6, 1946 to Jeanne Hayes and Emory Williams. Her family supported education and both of her parents finished college after she was born. Lawrence graduated from Allen High School in Ashville in 1964 and enrolled at Spelman College. She finished her undergraduate education at Purdue University earning her B.S. degree in mathematics in 1970. From 1979 to 1983, Lawrence taught mathematics in Cincinnati Public Schools before beginning her long career at Spelman College. She earned her M.S. degree in computer science from Atlanta University in 1985.

Having begun her career at Spelman as a lecturer and computer literacy coordinator, Lawrence was promoted to director of the computer science program in 1986. She held that position for three years before going back to school to pursue her doctorate. In 1993, Lawrence became the first African American to obtain her Ph.D. degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology in computer science. She then returned to Spelman as an assistant professor in computer science, and in 1994, she became chair of the computer and information sciences department. Lawrence was promoted to associate professor of computer science in 1995. Throughout her career, she has been instrumental in programs to increase the number of minorities and woman involved in scientific disciplines, serving as president of the Association of Departments of Computer Science/Engineering at Minority Institutions (ADMI) and associate director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) Scholars at Spelman College. Lawrence teaches a range of computer science classes including programming languages, computer graphics, artificial intelligence, and human-computer interactions. She also supervises projects on remote sensing in Antarctica, which uses satellites or aircraft to gather information about Antarctic ice. In addition to her teaching, Lawrence has published numerous papers for her research on human-computer interaction, including using computer animations to teach algorithms.

Lawrence has received several awards to date including the National Technical Association’s Technical Achiever of the Year Award in 2004. She was also named a Technology All-Star in 2005 by the National Women of Color (NWOC). Lawrence lives in Atlanta, Georgia and has three grown children, Deirdre, a scientific consultant, Allegra, an attorney and Valerie, a student.

Andrea Lawrence was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 17, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.071

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/19/2012

Last Name

Lawrence

Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Williams

Schools

Allen High School

Spelman College

Purdue University

Clark Atlanta University

Georgia Institute of Technology

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Andrea

Birth City, State, Country

Asheville

HM ID

LAW04

Favorite Season

Summer

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Orlando, Florida, Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Find a way or make one.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

10/6/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Shellfish

Short Description

Computer science professor and computer scientist Andrea Lawrence (1946 - ) was chair of the computer and information sciences department at Spelman College from 1994-2009 and is currently as associate professor at Spelman. In 1993, she became the first African American to earn her Ph.D. degree in computer science from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Employment

Cincinnati Public Schools

Spelman College

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Orange

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Andrea Lawrence's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Andrea Lawrence lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Andrea Lawrence describes her family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her mother's growing up in North Carolina and Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her father and how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her early relationships with her parents and grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Andrea Lawrence shares her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her love of reading, starting at age four

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Andrea Lawrence talks about the integration of Ashville, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Andrea Lawrence remembers her introduction to computers

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Andrea Lawrence discusses her relationship with her father after her parents' separation

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Andrea Lawrence talks about the influence of her elementary school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Andrea Lawrence remembers her days at Allen High School

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Andrea Lawrence talks about traveling along with her father, uncle, and cousins

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Andrea Lawrence describes her interest about technology

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her coursework at Allen High School

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Andrea Lawrence describes meeting President Lyndon B. Johnson as a Presidential Scholar

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Andrea Lawrence talks about Spelman College

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her role with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her coursework at Spelman College

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Andrea Lawrence describes how she met her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Andrea Lawrence talks about living in West Lafayette, Indiana

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her computer science classes at Purdue University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Andrea Lawrence talks about reactions to the assassination of Dr. King

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her graduate work in computer science

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Andrea Lawrence talks about Dr. Etta Faulkner and her decision to pursue a Ph.D.

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Andrea Lawrence talks about computers and her mentor, Albert Bodder

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Andrea Lawrence discusses her difficulties she fared as a woman attending Georgia Institute of Technology

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Andrea Lawrence discusses the state of teaching of computer science at HBCUs

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Andrea Lawrence describes her work with NASA Wives Scholars program

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Andrea Lawrence talks about how her writing skills helped her computer science

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her book and the psychology of computers

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Andrea Lawrence talks about computer literacy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Andrea Lawrence talks about cultural and gender bias in the computer science field

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Andrea Lawrence talks about Spelman College's future and her current research

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Andrea Lawrence shares her concerns about the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Andrea Lawrence reflects on her legacy and career

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Andrea Lawrence talks about her three daughters

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Andrea Lawrence reflects on her life and career

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Andrea Lawrence describes her photos

DASession

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DATitle
Andrea Lawrence talks about Spelman College
Andrea Lawrence discusses her difficulties she fared as a woman attending Georgia Institute of Technology
Transcript
Okay. All right, so, okay, so in 1964, you start school at Spelman.$$I did.$$And how did you like Spelman[Spelman College]--$$Oh, I loved it.$$You already knew a lot about it.$$Right, I knew, and, right, because I had come down in the summers, and my mother was working. And I had, in fact, spent one summer mostly on the campus, living in--when she had a dorm room on the campus. They had faculty, female faculty housing at that point and male faculty housing. A lot of single faculty would live on campus for a couple of years. So I felt right at home. I knew the names of all the buildings because I found out as a child that if I could name all the buildings, people--when, say I was nine or so, people would be impressed and give me a nickel. And I could buy an ice cream cone in the snack shop. So I had learned all the buildings. And I moved into Packard Hall, which is no longer a dormitory. It's now administration. And I really had a great time. I joined the glee club. I was on the newspaper staff. I took a overload in classes most years. After the first semester, I took an overload, and I loved being here where you could, where there were dances and remember, I was just coming from an all-girls school that did not have a all-male school across the street. So, I said, "This is really nice." I can, you know, I don't have 'em in my classes, but they're right over there.$$Now, you took an overload of courses?$$Most time, after the first semester because I was trying to do two minors. So the average load was fifteen hours. I generally took eighteen.$$Okay, you're, you described yourself as a speedy reader?$$Yes.$$Okay.$$I mean not like the ones that come out of their courses that claim they can read, but I read very rapidly. I also type rapidly, which has been very handy. It came in very handy when I started writing those computer programs.$$Okay, okay, now were you exposed to computer science at Spelman?$$I was not. A few years later, they had computer science. The only computers I knew about were, as I said, the ones my mom used in the office, in the registrar's office, the Wang's and the, she brought me a computer. But that was later. No, I was not exposed at all. My first real exposure to computers was when we left Atlanta and went to West Lafayette, Indiana. I dropped out of school when we got married. And my, when my ex-husband finished Morehouse, he went to graduate school at Purdue.$$Okay, now, let's, moving very fast, back up and go back (laughter). We've got a lot of ground to cover.$$Okay, I was trying to figure out where the computers, when I ran into computers and like that.$$Yes, okay, so now I know.$$Okay, I'll hold--$Okay, all right, so 1993, you became an assistant professor here--let me ask you this before we get into teaching. What were some of the struggles that you had as a woman, you know, in computer science? Was there any problem with that at, here, even at Spelman?$$Not at Spelman.$$Okay. But at--$$At Georgia Tech.$$At Georgia Tech (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$At Georgia Tech [Georgia Institute of Technology], the percentage of women in the PhD program was very small. I would say less than 10 percent. So we knew, of course, all the women, other women, and I will have to say that they got, used to get together some times as a group and give each other support. They might have a brunch or something, give each other support. But it was difficult because many times, you would be in a class, and there wouldn't be any other women. And some of the men might not want you to be in their group. And you had to make groups or partner up. So they just really didn't wanna be partners with me. Now, whether that was because I was as old as their mothers or because I was African American or because I was a woman, it was hard to say. But I did find that. My best bet for getting a partner was to either find someone who has been sent back to school by some company or the Army, Armed Forces or another woman. So it was really a situation where if a woman--I'll give you an example. One of the women PhD students had a baby. And she was married to a male PhD student. And I heard someone say, they didn't know I heard them, well, she can't be serious about her degree or she wouldn't have had this baby. And I later heard someone say about one of the male students whose wife had had a baby, "Well, you know, we need to hurry up and get him out so he can get a job." And I know one of my friends who was asked to teach a course over here in the AU Center part time, was told that she shouldn't be doing it because she was taking away something that some man might need. So it was, and she was a single mother with a teenager. She really needed it. But perception was, as a woman, she shouldn't be taking the mouth out of the--the bread out of the mouth of the breadwinner, so to speak, taking the money away from the breadwinner.$$So were you involved in any efforts on the part of women to organize themselves against this kind of thing?$$We didn't really. Tech actually formed, offered us a support group through student services where we could get together. And those weren't all computer scientists. They were from different areas. And we got together once a week, and we would talk about situations and advise how to handle situations we ran into. The computer science women, as I said, sometimes would have meals and get together and encourage each other, but no formal organization.$$Okay, so, so at Spelman, now, you were already teaching at Spelman, right, while you were--$$Right, I was teaching math until I got the CS degree.$$Okay.$$'Cause I had enough graduate hours in math to, from getting a teaching certificate to be a, to be able to teach. But once I graduated with the Masters, then I started computer science.$$Okay, so you just moved right over to another--$$Seamlessly, yeah.$$Yeah, so they had a department, computer science department right here or--$$They had a computer science department by '93' [1993], but they did not have one in the late '80's [1980s] when I was working in the department. The, it was part of mathematics, the mathematics department. So they said we had to have, I think five faculty members and had finished the graduating class before we could become separate. And I believe, that happened under the auspices of Dr. Martin. While I was in grad school, he was able to bring the department out of mathematics and into a separate department.$$Okay. All right, oh, now what was your--I'm sorry. I didn't ask you what your dissertation was titled?$$Oh, it was "Empirical Studies of Using Algorithm Animations to Teach Algorithms. So I did, basically, it would look like little movies where I animated things going through a different processes on the computer. It might be putting things in order, sorting, or it might be some other process that you could carry out. Most of the ones I did were based on sorting. There're probably 12 ways to sort numbers, and the best one to choose depends on the problem and the computer you're using and the data. So in computer science, Algorithm courses, you teach several methods. So what my work was about was trying to figure out ways to teach these methods more effectively, and I created these algorithms. I did experiments at Georgia State and Georgia Tech with students to see which ones worked best for them. So that was, it was pretty interesting, especially, my final conclusion was that the animations were good, but they were only good as long as the students interacted with them. If they just watched them, this TV generation, it didn't really have an effect. They had to do something with it like choose the data to be sorted or choose the next step. They had to do something with it for it to be effective.$$Okay, we have to pause here again.

Shirley Malcom

Education administrator and science education advocate Shirley Malcom was born on September 6, 1946 in Birmingham, Alabama to ¬Lillie Mae and Ben Mahaley. From an early age, she wanted to be a doctor because of her love of biology. At George Washington Carver High School, Malcom was a top student and graduated in 1963. She then attended the University of Washington and received her B.S. degree in zoology in 1967. Malcom went on to attend the University of California at Los Angeles where she graduated with her M.A. degree in zoology in 1968. She taught high school biology in Los Angeles before attending Pennsylvania State University where she obtained her Ph.D. degree in ecology in 1974.

After completing her education, Malcom joined the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington as an assistant professor. In 1975, she moved to Washington, D.C. where she began working as a research assistant in the Office of Opportunities in Science (OOS) of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She co-published “The Double Bind: The Price of Being a Minority Woman in Science” in 1976. Then, Malcom served as a program officer for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Science Education Directorate. She became head of the AAAS Office of Opportunities in Science in 1979 and head of the AAAS Directorate for Education and Human Resources Programs in 1989. In 1993, Malcom was appointed to the National Science Board by President Bill Clinton and in 1995, she became a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was also named to the President’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology from 1994 until 2001. Malcom has authored several reports on engaging women and minorities in science and is considered a pioneer in the field.

Malcom has served as co-chair of the Gender Advisory Board of the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development and has chaired many national committees on scientific education and literacy. In 2006, she was named co-chair of the National Science Board Commission on 21st Century Education in STEM. Malcom serves as a trustee of California Institute of Technology and a regent of Morgan State University. She has sixteen honorary degrees, received the University of Washington’s Alumna Summa Laude Dignata Award in 1998, the university’s highest honor and in 2003, was given the Public Welfare Medal of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Shirley Malcom is married to Horace Malcom and they have two adult daughters.

Shirley Malcom was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 9, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.060

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/8/2012

Last Name

Malcom

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

M.

Schools

University of Washington

University of California, Los Angeles

Pennsylvania State University

George Washington Carver High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Shirley

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

MAL06

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

What Doesn't Kill You, Makes You Stronger.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

9/6/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Education administrator and science educator Shirley Malcom (1946 - ) is head of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Directorate for Education and Human Resources Programs. She is a pioneer of minority science education serving on the National Science Board and the President’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Employment

Los Angeles Schools

University of North Carolina, Wilmington

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

National Science Foundation (NSF)

National Science Board

President’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Shirley Malcom's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Shirley Malcom lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Shirley Malcom describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Shirley Malcom talks about her mother's growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Shirley Malcom describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Shirley Malcom talks about her father's growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Shirley Malcom talks about the demographics of Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Shirley Malcom talks about how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Shirley Malcom describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Shirley Malcom talks about her childhood neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Shirley Malcom talks about her high school

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Shirley Malcom describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Shirley Malcom talks about her elementary school experience

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Shirley Malcom talks about her experience at Lewis Elementary School

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Shirley Malcom talks about the significance of Sputnik to aspiring scientists

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Shirley Malcom talks about her teachers at Lewis Elementary School

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Shirley Malcom talks about her interest in television, radio and football

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Shirley Malcom talks about her grandmother registering to vote

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Shirley Malcom talks about voting challenges for black people during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Shirley Malcom talks about the bombing of Bethel Baptist Church and Sixteenth Street Baptist Church

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Shirley Malcom talks about Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Shirley Malcom reflects on her experience of being a student during the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Shirley Malcom talks about her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Shirley Malcom talks about her decision to attend the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Shirley Malcom talks about the civil rights disparities that women face

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Shirley Malcom talks about her experience at the University of Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Shirley Malcom talks about the disparity of educational resources between minority schools and white schools

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Shirley Malcom talks about innate scientific ability

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Shirley Malcom talks about her decision to forego medical school

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Shirley Malcom talks about her social life at the University of Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Shirley Malcom talks about her experience at the University of California in Los Angeles

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Shirley Malcom talks about her studies at the University of California in Los Angeles

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Shirley Malcom reflects on the challenges in her personal life during her graduate studies

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Shirley Malcom talks about Pennsylvania State University, where she received her Ph.D. degree in ecology

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Shirley Malcom describes her dissertation on the factors that relate to the termination of imprinting in birds

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Shirley Malcom talks about football at Pennsylvania State University

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Shirley Malcom talks about her professional activities with the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and the NAACP

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Shirley Malcom talks about the book she published called, 'The Double Bind: The Price of Being a Minority Woman in Science'

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Shirley Malcom talks about her work at the National Science Foundation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Shirley Malcom talks about her work with the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Shirley Malcom talks about her professional activities and the importance of STEM education

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Shirley Malcom talks about her work with the United Nations (part one)

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Shirley Malcom talks about her work with the United Nations (part two)

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Shirley Malcom talks about women's access to science education

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Shirley Malcom talks about her professional activities with the AAAS

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Shirley Malcom reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Shirley Malcom talks about her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Shirley Malcom talks about society's perceptions of scientists and celebrities

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Shirley Malcom reflects upon her life choices

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Shirley Malcom talks about her family

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Shirley Malcom reflects upon how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$5

DAStory

2$5

DATitle
Shirley Malcom talks about her professional activities and the importance of STEM education
Shirley Malcom talks about the book she published called, 'The Double Bind: The Price of Being a Minority Woman in Science'
Transcript
Early 90s [1990s] you're saying--?$$Yes, it would be, it would have been kind of the early 90s [1990s]. And so we had a number of places apply and we had independent selection process and the people came here for training cause we wanted them all to do something that related to building math skills, whatever they happened to be. And then we basically sent them computers and they established community computing centers. We were trying some of everything. The notion is that we saw, we found holes we wanted to plug you know. We were trying to help communities, trying to build awareness to start with and then trying to build strategies so that you would get some sense that you weren't at, you know you weren't hanging out there by yourself. I mean there were things that you could do to try to move this. At the same time that you're trying all these projects, you're also trying to establish or support policies that you knew in the long run would likely provide federal resources or something for undertaking these efforts. You were protecting disaggregated data because you know if you lose it you're not going to be able to keep score and know how, know if you're making any kind of difference. So you're working on various fronts you know all at the same time, building, trying to build capacity in organizations, trying to build awareness in the scientific community, trying to get other organizations within the scientific community to take on some of these issues. So you have lots of different stuff going on at any one time. In 1989, there was a reorganization that pulled not only office of opportunities but also the general issues that relate to science education as well as public understanding of science into the same unit and I became the head of that unit. And again this was a situation where you are coming to understand that this is a system's problem and you've got to figure out how to take on different parts of a system be it K-12, be it higher education, be it graduate education, be it community engagement and community literacy that you've got to build partnerships, that you've got to reach out beyond yourself. You have to engage the media, the technology and what have you in order to make a difference. I had the opportunity too to kind of do more in the policy world and around the policy, and the policy area to effect things as well. I served on the National Science Board, the policymaking body of the National Science Foundation and participated in their efforts around strategic planning, around the systemic initiatives that they undertook. I instigated the activity that eventually led to the change in criteria at the foundation that--around broader impacts to try to get people to focus on the fact that it was great to be able to do your research but maybe we should be able to expect that you would do things to support education, do things to support diversity, do things to support other kinds of worthy efforts and initiatives within the sciences and engineering. And I served on President Clinton's counsel of advisors se science and technology at the same time and so trying to lift the discussion to the numerous agencies, trying to help people understand that this was an area of national need. We had once again returned to the Sputnik [1957] moment. It might not look like it but we were there again and that if we didn't really understand that the demographics were headed in one direction but we really weren't capitalizing on the need to build talent out of all those groups that had been marginalized in the past and we had a real problem. And so we were trying to change the discourse and tried to get the science community to own this problem at the same time that we could get the national policies to own all of this as an issue that had to be addressed. And I think that to a very large extent we look at, we look today and we listen to President Obama and his remarks, he's there. He gets that in fact that we--that stem education is critical to being able to move ahead in terms of our national security, our defense, our health, our economics but also that we have to be very smart about talent development and talent utilization. But you, when I think about kind of the odyssey that it has taken to kind of get to that point it's really amazing that we can still be having this conversation this many years later. You know I have these regular moments of deja vu all over again. I was you know I undertake on a--I can get an open slice of time every once in a while to start trying to attack the mess in my office and I'll find a speech that I gave in 1980 something and I read the presentation. I shouldn't, I should just go on and file it. But I read it and I thought oh my goodness this is too fresh. I could have given this speech last week. And I think that as much progress as we have made and the numbers tell us and we have in fact made progress, as much progress as we have made, the movement has been glacial. I mean it's so slow but we have just, we are just not taking hold of these things with the speed and urgency that is really required.$Okay. Now in '76 [1976] you wrote, you published 'The Double Bind'--$$The Double Bind.$$--The Price of Being a Minority Woman in Science.$$Yes.$$Okay.$$And that was, it was interesting how that happened. The person with home, for whom I worked said at that time, what's it like basically to have these two things hitting you at the same time? She had gone to a meeting of people who were writing projects that related to minorities in science. There had been no women there. Then she went to a meeting on women in science projects and there had been no minorities there. And I said to her, I said what it is like is that you're in no person's land because if you--for example you go into a living room and you have a lamp that's there and there's a switch on the lamp and there's a switch on the wall. The switch on the lamp can be on but the wall switch isn't. The wall switch can be on but if the lamp switch isn't on the lamp still won't light. Essentially the light, the wall switch has to work and the lamp has to be on in order for anything to happen. I mean it's similarly that you know this notion of following slavery when the amendment was put in place giving blacks the right to vote, black women couldn't vote. You know so women were arguing at the time that women should, white women should be allowed to vote before these illiterate black men who had been slaves. But until both of those things happened, we weren't going to get the vote. So it didn't matter who you told, who you tossed your hat in with, nothing was going to happen for you until both of those things happened. And that's really the major issue that we began to understand as women of color that early on we might be more affected by the issues of being members of minority groups in terms of our early education. But at some point we were also going to be hit by sexism and the realization that there were certain things that women were expected to do and not do. And that we, until both of those sets of conditions were addressed that we weren't really going to be able to progress. And not having being able to put those ideas, to articulate those ideas and begin to understand what might a pathway be for women of color, I mean that was the first time that that had actually been discussed as an issue. And trying to help people understand what that was like was a really hard thing to do and it was a hard thing to do in terms of putting it to words. One young woman who wrote me at the time kind of--after she found 'The Double Bind', she was looking for something that spoke to her to the situation that she felt at the time. And I was trying to help her sort through it and make suggestions about what she should do as she was trying to map out her life, is now the Dean of the College at Harvard [University], Evelyn Hammonds. She was at Spelman [College] when she wrote to me after that book. And it means a lot that she felt that for the first time that someone understood, someone was articulating her reality. And unfortunately while a lot of things have changed from that reality, a lot of things haven't changed from that reality. There's a recent piece that I did with my daughter for Harvard Educational Review that kind of brings it, this up to date at the thirty-fifth anniversary you know of 'The Double Bind.' And we entitled it, 'The Double Bind-The Next Generation,' you know looking at how now younger women are experiencing some of the same issues that their mothers did and how, what is likely--what we now understand is likely to be necessary in order to really address these things.$$Now culturally, did you get more, I mean for those who were aware of what you wrote, did you get more pushback form the black community or the white community?$$Did we get pushback?$$No, from those who actually read what you wrote, did you get more pushback from the black community or the white community or did it make any difference?$$Okay, that's a hard one. We got probably more pushback from black males. White females didn't like it either because in a way when you're kind of in the middle of a women's movement the idea that you're going to call out that our separate needs aren't being addressed. And largely our separate needs weren't being addressed, partly our separate needs weren't being addressed because there was this in some corners kind of a condemnation of what, of the behavior of all men. And what we were trying to say is, hey wait a minute. Our brothers have issues, have had issues trying to move ahead as well. So even though they aren't necessarily being the most supportive people right now by saying we, you know we're calling out things that we need to keep in the family--I mean you think about it. You think about the civil rights movement and you think about the fact that the women in many cases were organizing things and they got pushed to the side. You don't hear about the women who were critical in the civil rights movement.$$Like Ella Baker [Ella Josephine Baker, African American civil rights and human rights activist].$$Yeah. You don't hear about Ella Baker. You don't hear about Diane--$$Nash [Diane Nash, student leader and strategist of the 1960s civil rights movement].$$You know, you don't hear about them. You may hear about Dorothy and I think that Dorothy Height [Dorothy Irene Height, administrator, educator, social activist: former head of National Council of Negro Women] who was a great supporter of our work because she understood this science/technology connection to really being able to take hold of one's future moving forward. I think that she, they gave her some props because she was senior to them all you know. And, but you know how that worked. It was, there was the expectation that you provided the coffee, you provided the support, you made the signs, you did whatever, but you were not out in front and that was a part of the reality. Did people like to be called on it? No. And I think that that's just the way it was.